Wealthy Salt Lake Valley households are feeling the foreclosure pinch too- By: John Smith
At virtually any time these days, a typical realtor in Utah may be busily trying to manage between 50 and 100 foreclosed homes simultaneously, and in a particularly harsh real estate market. Times to sale may vary, however these days, at least, properties in some Salt Lake Valley districts are re-selling again.
“Regardless of condition or price, in our area, they do sell,” a local realtor working the Cottonwoods Heights Area confirmed. “That’s not to say the same situation is everywhere – newly built Valley areas are taking strain, and the entire Mid Valley area has not yet fully recovered.”
Slightly more than 2000 homes in Cottonwood Heights, Holladay, Midvale and Murray became the subject of foreclosures in Salt Lake Valley between July 2008 and March 2010. Repossessions were fairly evenly distributed across communities, although there were also a few more heavily affected hubs in Murray (west side), Midvale, and several better-heeled areas in Cottonwood Heights. Of the over 2000 foreclosure actions mentioned, a worrisome 543 – or approximately 27% – took place in the first quarter of the current year. Around 50% of these were default notices served on owners over 90 days delinquent, indicating further storm clouds ahead.
Salt Lake Mid Valley has experienced approximately 460 foreclosures during the same period mentioned – this time their 2010 contribution is nearing 50%. 400 of the 460 have failed to sell, and may still be standing empty in the hands of lending banks as I write.
I asked another local realtor to expand on this. She wasn’t that concerned, and told me that an ample presence of homes for sale doesn’t make a crisis. “Prices may have dipped,” she added, “but are actually beginning to return to fair value. Banks are still keen to sell, interest rates are low, and I think it’s a good time to buy.”
Director of Counseling at AAA Fair Credit Foundation Willem van der Toolen agrees that the barrier between income levels has evaporated. Unemployed high income earners may have a harder time re-employing, he told me. I meet with several of these every day now. They are snookered by rising rates leading to increased payments, falling values, and no re-financing offers.
Although a default notice might seem like a stroke of doom to some, there is help in the form of advice available from non-profit agencies. If approached correctly and with their assistance, most lenders may agree a short sale too.
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