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A foreclosed home in St. Paul

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune file

Foreclosures continue to dominate real estate market

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA
  • Star Tribune
  • May 5, 2011 - 11:53 PM

Foreclosures continue to pummel the housing market. About a third of all home sales nationwide during April were foreclosures, leading to what analysts call a "double dip" in housing prices. In the Twin Cities, the situation was much worse: more than half of all sales were foreclosures. Prices during the month were 0.7 percent lower then the previous low hit in March 2009, according to Clear Capital's monthly Home Data Index Market Report.

Some key points from the report:

•Across the country home prices fell 5 percent during April. In the Twin Cities prices fell 6.8 percent.

•Nationwide home prices fell 11.5 percent over the previous nine-month period, a rate of decline not experienced since 2008.

•All major metro areas the firm tracks showed quarter-over-quarter price declines.

•Nationwide, the bank-owned sales as a percent of all sales hit 35 percent, but in the Twin Cities half of all sales were foreclosures or short sales, putting the region on par with the two worst cities: Detroit (56 percent) and Fresno (55 percent).

•Quarter-to-quarter, the Midwest performed worse than the nation as a whole, though it's the only region yet to double-dip largely because of big gains in home sales made during the home buyer's tax credit market. Quarter-to-quarter prices in the Midwest fell almost 9 percent, while annual prices during April fell 6.3 percent. Those declines happened primarily because of a 4.3 percentage point increase in so-called REO saturation -- those bank-owned properties -- which now stands at nearly 40 percent, 6.8 percentage points below the peak REO saturation reached during the first quarter of 2009.

Also Thursday, CoreLogic said foreclosure rates in the Twin Cities during February were slightly higher than they were last year at this time, rising about slightly to 2.27 percent of all outstanding mortgages. Nationwide, the foreclosure rate was 3.61 percent, a 1.34 percentage point difference.

Rising foreclosures continue to depress prices, but some relief might be on the way. The delinquency rate in the Twin Cities fell from 6.15 percent during February 2010 to 5.57 the same month this year. A decline in the number of delinquencies bodes well for the market because, while not every mortgage that is delinquent ends up in foreclosure, it suggests that the overall number of foreclosures is likely to fall.

Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376

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