Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Record Setting Foreclosures

Foreclosures slipped 4 percent in February from the month earlier, but were 12 percent higher than the same time in 2006."Based on our numbers for the first two months of 2007, foreclosure activity is running at a rate that would project to a 33 percent increase over 2006," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.States with the highest foreclosure rates in February were Nevada, Colorado and Florida. Nevada had one foreclosure filing for every 278 households. Colorado reported one foreclosure for every 345 households, and Florida had one foreclosure filing for every 382 households. Nationwide, there was one foreclosure for every 884 households.

We're seeing several homes that are facing foreclosure coming on market in the West Metro and Twin Cities. If you're interested in learning more, please contact Eric or Sharla Stafford at 952.474.2525.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Weekly Market Activity Report

Unsurprisingly, the Twin Cities housing market found it difficult to battle through the monumental snowfalls seen during the week ending March 3. With schools and offices closed throughout the metropolitan area due to the inclement conditions, buyers and sellers followed suit. Compared to one year ago when weather conditions were relatively normal, new listings fell by 23 percent and pending sales fell by 28 percent. Time will tell just how much of this decline can be attributed to meteorology rather than general market conditions.

This week's edition of the MAAR Weekly Market Activity report includes updated March 2007 figures for the Housing Affordability Index (HAI) and the Housing Supply Outlook (HSO). The HAI grew to 141 due to another dip in interest rates and a slight decline in home prices. As our market continues to work through its post-boom correction period, housing affordability is making important improvements. Home prices, interest rates and consumer income will affect the HAI.

The HSO grew to 7.0 months, which means it will take approximately 7.0 months for the current supply of available properties to sell. The market is considered balanced when there is roughly a 5-month supply of homes available for purchase. Previously owned homes have 6.4 months of supply, while newly constructed homes have 10.5 months of supply.

Sharla Stafford, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Burnet, MTKA Office
Cell: 612.282.6895
Direct: 952.470.2578
Office: 952.474.2525
Fax: 952.474.9583

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Experts Predict Big Foreclosure Fallout

As home prices fall and lenders tighten credit terms, some observers close to the subprime market predict that things are going to get worse before they get better.

The delinquency rate for all types of mortgages rose to 4.67 percent in the third quarter of 2006 from 4.39 percent in the prior three months, a gain of 6 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Foreclosures last year were up 42 percent from 2005 levels, and will likely rise another 20 percent to 25 percent this year, predicts RealtyTrac Inc., a real estate information service."It's going to be a bloodbath this year," says Renae Gorney, director of loss mitigation at Freedom Foreclosure Prevention Services in Mesa, Ariz.

Christopher Cagan, director of research and analytics at First American CoreLogic, estimates that adjustable-rate mortgage resets will trigger some 1.1 million foreclosures over the next 5 or 6 years, wiping out $110 billion in equity.

While that may sound like a lot, Cagan doesn’t believe the fallout will significantly slow the U.S. economy or even severely damage the mortgage industry because it’s actually a pretty small percentage.Source:

Reuters News, Emily Kaiser (03/12/07)

7 Ways to Get Rid of Pet Odors

When a house you’re trying to sell smells like a pet, there are some tactics that can improve the odor situation. Don Aslett, owner of Varsity Contractors, one of the country's largest cleaning companies, offers up these tips for identifying the source of the smell and then eliminating it:

  • Use a fluorescent black light (pet-supply stores sell them), to expose odor-producing spots on the carpet, couch, floorboards and even on drapes.
  • Remove all solids and blot up as much liquid as possible with a clean towel. Apply an appropriate odor neutralizer or cleaner according to directions.
  • Never use ammonia, which takes on the smell of what it's supposed to be cleaning, can trigger more accidents.
  • Choose the best product to remove the problem. On water-safe surfaces, try Simple Solution stain and odor remover. The problem area must be thoroughly soaked and left to dry.
  • Bramton's Oxy Solution Pet Stain and Odor Destroyer can remove odors and stains from surfaces that won’t withstand soaking, but test first in an out-of-the way place.
  • The most effective and safest disinfectant for use around pets is Chlorhexidine, which is sold under such names as Nolvasan, Chlorasan and Chlorhex by veterinarians and medical-supply outlets. Use these for problems that demand deep cleaning.
  • When all else fails, temporarily neutralize odors using a product such as Fresh Wave.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sarah Casey Newman (03/10/2007)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Weekly Market Activity Report - March

Weekly Market Activity Report

Buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities residential real estate market aren't immune to historic snowfalls and blizzard conditions. For the week ending February 24 when the region saw the first of two monumental winter storms, new purchase agreements (pending sales) held relatively steady with the previous week rather than taking part in the annual uptick we typically see in late February. Compared to the same time in 2006, pending sales were 16 percent behind and new listings were 4 percent ahead. MAAR expects a similar stagnation to persist in next week's numbers due to the second stronger storm system seen in the first few days of March.

This week's edition of the MAAR Weekly Market Activity Report features an updated Supply-Demand Ratio (SDR) for March 2007 of 5.77. This means that there are approximately 5.77 homes on the market for every projected buyer in the month of March. The SDR typically reaches its lowest point in March of every year before rising alongside seller activity in the spring market. Compared to one year ago, the SDR for March 2007 is 29 percent higher.