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Distressed Houses Listings Declined in Southwestern Illinois

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Distressed houses listings declined in Southwestern Illinois in February this year, based on foreclosure data compiled by the Illinois Association of Realtors and local realtor associations.

A total of 127 households in Saint Clair County received foreclosure notices and another 114 households in Madison County were hit with filings, slightly down from the previous month.

The two counties have been surpassing the 100-unit level every month in 2009, and the trend has not changed considerably, but local realtors are hopeful that the local foreclosure trend will follow the declining national trend.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the nationwide default rate for residential mortgages fell significantly to an adjusted 9.47-percent rate in the October-December quarter, marking a drop of 17 percentage points from the default rate in the July-September quarter.

Carolyn Kemp, spokesperson for the MBA, said that the decline in the default rate was largely driven by a substantial decline in mortgages delinquent by 30 days.

Kemp also explained that the mortgage delinquency decline in the final quarter of 2009 was significant because typically, the final-quarter default rate shoots up as additional expenses during the holidays, in addition to higher heating costs, force homeowners to delay their monthly loan payments. She also said that a declining trend may be in the offing.

The MBA also reported that the number of properties entering distressed houses listings in Illinois dropped to 1.53 percent of all mortgage loans in the October-December quarter. These are properties for which the foreclosure process was started.

However, the number of delinquent mortgages has increased, with over 11 percent of all mortgage loans in default in the final quarter last year. The number of completed foreclosures also increased to five percent of all home loans in the state.

According to Mary Schaefer, communications director for the Illinois Association of Realtors, the resolution of the foreclosure crisis will depend on job creation and on the willingness of banks to refinance and make home loans. She added that unemployment have been impacting the local housing market significantly.

In Saint Clair and in Madison, home sales have been falling during the winter, with only 103 homes sold in January, according to the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois. The sales figure marked a 39-percent decrease from sales in December 2009.

Meanwhile, Deb Campbell, president of the Southwestern association, said that the pace of distressed houses listings will slow down further as more homeowners and buyers take advantage of federal and state programs designed to prevent foreclosure and to facilitate home ownership.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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