Sam Gendusa October 11, 2016

Newsletter - October 2016

In 2016, many are wondering:

Are we there yet?

  • Real estate prices in many markets are at or higher than pre-recession levels
  • The number of homes in the foreclosure process is at its lowest since 2007

That’s good news. But…

Homeownership (that’s the number of households where the occupants own the home they live in) is at its lowest level in more than a quarter of a century.

What’s happening here?

Prior to 2008, most distressed properties were purchased by private investors who fixed them up to sell. But when the market collapsed, there was too much inventory for private investors to handle.

With a glut of distressed properties and not enough buyers, home prices sank to such low levels that institutional investors started scooping them up and turning them into rentals.

In 2006, there were 9 million single-family homes for rent. By 2013, there were 12 million.

With fewer homes on the market, prices went up.

That’s where we find ourselves today. But it’s not over yet.

Millions of Americans still fail to pay their mortgages, and tens of thousands of homes - many of them beyond repair - sit vacant. What will become of those properties?

Hedge funds continue to pick them up.

When FHAs and GSEs determine that they cannot recover their capital, they pool the nonperforming loans and sell them to investors. If the investors can’t get the loans current, they foreclose - and create more rentals.

So the question remains, are we back to normal?

Perhaps. But we may have found a new “normal.”

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