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Tennessee Housing: Low Mortgage Rates, Rising Military Foreclosures



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By : Clark Raitz    99 or more times read
The housing market of Tennessee is a story of conflicting plots – on the one hand, are rising numbers of homebuyers trying to take advantage of the low mortgage rates; on the other, are military families threatened with foreclosures as they fail to meet their monthly mortgage obligations.

Increased interest is being shown by homebuyers to Nashville foreclosure listings and to other residential properties all over the state. This should be good news for the region, particularly now that home buying activities are highly necessary to help the market recover. However, this good news is somewhat offset by another housing sector-related development – that of increasing number of military families losing their homes to foreclosures.

Foreclosures in Tennessee and in the rest of the U.S. increased to a record high in 2010. Last year, over 20,000 active soldiers, veterans and military reservists who have government-backed loans lost their properties to foreclosure. The total was the highest recorded since 2003. Data also showed that foreclosure filings last year among locations that are near military bases have risen by 32% when compared with 2008 levels. The increase is even higher than the rise in the number of nationwide foreclosure filings last year, which was 23%, compared with 2008 levels.

Although more homebuyers are coming to Tennessee to check out properties due to the low mortgage rates, the state was not entirely pleased with developments in its housing market as a big number of its military family residents, most of whom work at Fort Campbell, is currently facing threat of foreclosure.

The Department of Defense has expanded its Homeowners Assistance Program to help military homeowners keep their properties from foreclosure for sale lists. Around 12,000 military homeowners are said to have applied for assistance under the program. The Mortgage Bankers Association of America has revealed that, historically, loans issued by private banks and backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have outperformed all other mortgage categories.

Tennessee housing analysts are hoping that more homebuyers will take advantage of the low mortgage rates and buy houses in the region, but majority are wishing that programs in place could really help military homeowners save their properties from foreclosure.
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