Sluggish sales for new housing hit a 10-year low in September, despite a slight uptick in US residential prices. Meanwhile, third quarter foreclosure filings are up from 2009 in two thirds of metro markets as stresses on homeowners remain unabated. See the following article from Property Wire for more on this.
Residential property prices in the US are rising slightly, according to government figures but fewer Americans are buying new houses and foreclosures are still trending upwards.
A 0.4% increases in property prices in August almost reversed the 0.7% fall in September according to the latest report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. However, its monthly House Price Index also shows that overall prices fell 2.4% in August from the year before and remain 13.6% below the peak of the market in April 2007.
The FHFA calculates is monthly index using purchase prices of houses backing mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
And figures from the US Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that sales for new homes have reached a yearly low. While new home sales increased 6.6% in September to an annual rate of 307,000, this is still the lowest sales figures for 2010.
Last month only 24,000 new houses were sold and they are down 21.5% from September 2009 and at the lowest level they have been for a decade.
Reports also show that foreclosure filings, which include notices of default, pending cases, notices of foreclosure sale and repossessions, increased from last year in 65% of metropolitan statistical areas tracked in the third quarter of the year.
Figures from RealtyTrac shows that the Seattle area had the highest increase with filings rising 71% from the third quarter of 2009. Chicago was second with a 35% increase followed by Houston, Texas at 26%.
California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona accounted for 19 of the top 20 foreclosure rates in the country. The only exception was Boise City, Idaho, which was 14th.
Las Vegas saw the highest rate in the third quarter, where one in every 25 housing units received a filing, more than five times the national average. But the 32,288 filings is down 20% from last year.
Cape Coral-Fort Meyers, Florida, was second with a one in 35 foreclosure rate. Filings there reached 10,352, down 22%. While one in 36 houses in Modesto, California, received a filing in the third quarter for the third highest rate, but it was an 18% drop from a year ago.
Miami, Florida, experienced the highest total number of foreclosures in the third quarter, at more than 58,600 filings, an increase of 9% from last year and up 25% from the previous quarter.
‘The underlying problems that are causing homeowners to miss their mortgage payments such as high unemployment, underemployment, toxic loans and negative equity, are continuing to plague most local housing markets. And these historically high foreclosure rates will continue until those problems are resolved,’ said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
This article has been republished from Property Wire. You can also view this article at Property Wire, an international real estate news site.