On Tuesday morning (that's Oct. 23) a group of local and national experts will gather at the William College of Law to talk about solutions to the foreclosure crisis and its aftermath. Specifically, the focus of the event will be on tackling the crisis through local and state policies. Prentiss Cox, a University of Minnesota Law professor and expert on foreclosure issues, will moderate the event.
Also appearing: John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Alon Cohen, Center for American Progress, Hazel Erby, St. Louis County Council and Saqib Bhatti, Service Employees International Union.
When: 9 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23
Where: William Mitchell College of Law Auditorium, St. Paul.
To register: click here.
The Twin Cities fared exceptionally well during July, according to the closely watched Case Shiller house price index. Year-over-year prices during July were up more than 6 percent, far outpacing a 20-city composite that showed an increase of 1.2 percent. The Twin Cities was bested only by Phoenix, which saw a 16.6 percent increase. That double-digit jump for Phoenix is primarily a reflection of just how far prices had fallen in that market.
Case Shiller said that month-to-month prices were up in all 20 regions tracked by the report and it was the second month of year-over-year increase for the index - that's something that hadn't happened for two years.
No doubt the report will help bolster confidence that the housing market is on the mend, and by some measures it's considered one of the most accurate measures of what's happening in the market because it tracks repeat sales of the same house based on public records and does not include foreclosures, but critics say that the report isn't the most timely reflection of what's happening because it's based on a rolling three-month average.
Aside from record-low mortgage rates, prices are being lifted by tight inventories and steady declines in the number of foreclosure sales. On Monday the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors weekly market update showed that overall inventories had fallen to new lows and this morning CoreLogic said that the foreclosure rate in the Twin Cities had fallen .42 percent to 1.62 percent during July. That's below a national average of 3.25 percent.
Couldn't get a loan modification and lost your house? You're not alone. By a long shot.
A new study shows that at least 800,000 homeowners unnecessarily went through the foreclosure process because of a failed loan modification. ProPublica, a journalism advocacy group, cited a new study that says that disorganization, understaffing and other internal banking problems prevented an estimated 800,000 homeowners from avoiding foreclosure. These are homeowners who might have qualified for the government's HAMP (home affordable modification program) program. (Click on this link to see the story).
The report found that some banks were better at others when it came to navigating the voluntary HAMP process, which used financial incentives to encourage banks to participate. The study was commissioned to determine the impact - and missed opportunities - of HAMP.
If you're a struggling homeowner, or are interested in buying a house in the Twin Cities, a non-profit called the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) is holding a free five-day event aimed at helping homeowners navigate the loan modifiation process. The group will also provide information about a special home-buying program even for those with less-than-perfect credit. The American Dream Event starts Friday. Click here for details and registration info.
The housing crash and subsequent decline in home prices has made it tough for Minnesota renters. In nearly every county across the state there’s a serious shortage of rental housing that’s affordable to the lowest-income residents, including a big increase in the number of families that pay more than half their income for housing.
That’s according to a comprehensive report on the state of housing in Minnesota from the Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) called 2012 Counties Profiles. You can see the full report by clicking here.
Here’s a summary of findings:
The MHP’s Chip Halbach said that in communities with big home price declines, there’s a big shortage of inexpensive rental housing because so many homeowners who couldn’t sell for what they owed on their house end up walking away from their home and are now competing for rental housing. “This points to sustained housing challenges,” he said.
Zillow.com said that in the Twin Cities metro the number of homeowners with mortgages that were higher than the value of their house fell from 39.9 percent during the first quarter to 38.7 percent during the second quarter. That's a total of more than 268,000 homes with a cumulative negative equity value of $17.4 billion. (Click here for the full report)
Nationwide, 30.9 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage were underwater, down slightly from the previous quarter for a total of $42 billion.
Zillow had a bit of good news for the Twin Cities: The number of mortgages that were 90 days or more delinquent fell slightly to 4.7 percent, way below a national rate 9.2 percent.
Those numbers are in line with the latest data from CoreLogic, which said that the foreclosure rate in the Twin Cities was 1.66 percent, down slightly from last year and way below the national rate of 3.27 percent. CoreLogic's tally of how many homeowners couldn't pay their mortgage was slightly better, the group said that the delinquency rate in the Twin Cities was 4.2 percent. Here's a link to more data.
Julie Gugin, the MNHOC's executive director, said that while the year-over-year decline is positive, the quarter-to-quarter trends are "discouraging." Click here to see the full mid-year report.