Less a buyer’s market than a non-payer’s one, really

If you’re much of a radio listener you’ve probably heard some talk these last few days about the most recent numbers on foreclosures, a measure of just how FUBAR the housing market – and potentially therefor, the economy – is. Well there’s some hard numbers on RealtyTrac over here. With 331 new filings in the 3rd quarter the District is up 903% from the three previous months and 1339% from the 3rd quarter last year, though that number might be inflated as RealyTrac’s data gathering has improved from last year.

Those of us living in the neighboring areas can’t fall back on that though. Marylanders are up 66.7% for the quarter and 549% from last year, Virginia is not quite as bad with 55.7% and 488.7%. No little * to indicate we can’t trust those numbers – there’s 5 times as many people potentially losing their houses this year as last. RealtyTrac ranks the states by changes from quarter to quarter, putting us 16th and 21st in position in increase from Q2, if you’re feeling competitive.

Personally I think the real ugly is in the year change though. That 549 and 488.7 puts us at #1 and #2 for nosedives from last year, exceeded only by New Hampshire, whose whopping and unbelievable 2785.1has the * indicating that their numbers are questionable. I’d take some solace from the fact that there’s a lot of ground in those states beyond our immediate area if they weren’t so close in number – that makes me inclined to think the action is largely here, where the big runups in price were.

2 Comments so far

  1. Wayan (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

    Can someone please compare foreclosures from 1999 or 2001, instead of the hyper-inflated markets on the last few years? Then strip out foreclosures on investment properties to give us a real number of families that might be impacted.

    Otherwise I call sat infaltion. 1 to 2 is 100% but could still be .00001% of the total homes market.


  2. Don (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 2:28 pm

    That would be interesting data, but quantity of foreclosures as a trend is an equally useful metric. Housing has a notable economic impact.

    As far as your second point, you could, I dunno….. read the article and look at the table? One of the columns is the ratio of foreclosures : households. US average is 1 filing per 196 households. Virginia has one filing per 411, MD is 1 : 273, DC 1: 839.

    By that measure we’re better off than the nation at large, though those numbers are impacted by large states like California having 150,000 in the last 3 months – 1/5 of the nation’s total, all by themselves. 1:196 is the mean, not the median. Add up California, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas and that’s 3/4 of the Nation’s foreclosures before you get to state #6



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