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Rising: Foreclosure Listings, Jobless Rates, Home Sales

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Positive economic figures in March, such as increased home sales, increased consumer spending and increased factory orders, have made some analysts to declare that home prices have reached their bottom levels and that house foreclosure listings may have ended their impact, but many other analysts still believe that foreclosure listings will continue to grow as private and government lenders end their foreclosure moratoriums.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which had extended their foreclosure moratoriums several times, surprised many homeowners and renters when they ended their moratoriums on March 31. Even housing advocates and community nonprofits are surprised that the moratoriums had been lifted.

In Phoenix, one of large cities hardest hit by foreclosure listings and the highest contributor to the high level of Arizona foreclosures, pre-foreclosure filings increased in March after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced the end of their moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions on March 31.

Most of the foreclosure filings in Phoenix in March, which reached 10,689 filings, were for single-family homes.

Although many members of the National Association of Realtors are hopeful that home sales will continue to increase and that foreclosure listings will decline, many others are concerned about inventories of foreclosed homes that were not added to foreclosure listings in the last several months. They fear that the growth of foreclosure listings in the last weeks of April and first weeks of May will cause another wave of home price declines that could further hurt the housing market.

Based on the Schiller index, the median home price is still falling despite modest improvements in sales compared to sales in 2008. Housing market analysts say that housing prices stabilize only after large numbers of sales transactions have balanced supply and demand in the market.

There is hope however that fewer notices of trustees’ sale (NTRs) will eventually be added to foreclosure listings because of a special foreclosure regulation issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, prohibiting foreclosures on homeowners qualified to avail of Making Home Affordable programs or other foreclosure initiatives.

Another factor affecting foreclosure listings is the continued rise in unemployment rates. The national jobless rate increased in March to 8.5 percent, its highest level since 1983. If people who worked part-time are excluded from employment tables, the jobless rate could reach 15.6 percent. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said unemployment could continue to increase for a while as businesses, stocks and investments take efforts to recover.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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