Tuesday, June 12, 2007

U.S. Foreclosures Up 90% In May

Dark clouds on the horizon. And not just the ones casting thunder, lightning, and torrential rain in my lovely neighborhood.

Bloomberg has the bad news:

U.S. foreclosure filings surged 90 percent in May from a year earlier as more homeowners fell behind on their monthly mortgage payments, RealtyTrac Inc. said.
. . . .

A jump in foreclosures at a time of year that traditionally is the busiest for home sales means the slide in prices probably isn't over, said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. Typically, more than half of all home sales occur in the April to June period, according to Freddie Mac, the No. 2 mortgage buyer.

``Such strong activity in the midst of the typical spring buying season could foreshadow even higher foreclosure levels later in the year,'' Saccacio said in the report. That will add ``to the downward pressure on home prices in many areas.''

The New York market has so far been spared the carnage. Partially due to the strong local economy; partially due to the high proportion of renters; partially due to the more conservative lending/borrowing practices vis-a-vis, say, California. Take a look at this map from Business Week posted a few months back to get a sense of where the real pain is and will be.

But we're not immune here. A lot of people are overextended these days, and it's not a good thing.

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