Of the top 100 metropolitan areas included in Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index, 84 percent are showing an improving three-month trend. The index – which compares current housing conditions to long-term norms – also found 42 of the 50 states on the upswing. Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist, says it was the 50th straight month the index registered year-over-year gains. “Nationally, MiMi in June was largely unchanged at 85, marking a 5.76 percent year-over-year increase and the 50thconsecutive month of year-over-year increases,” Kiefer said. “Low mortgage rates and consistent job gains are helping to bolster home buyer demand, which is reflected in the MiMi purchase applications indicator. Purchase applications, as measured by MiMi, rose 1.75 percent month-over-month in June to the highest level since December 2007.” But though the index’s results are definitely positive, the upward trend was even stronger last year at this time when all of the top 100 metros were showing gains. Also in the report, the most improved metropolitan areas since last year at this time include Orlando, Denver, Tampa, Chattanooga, and Dallas. Among states, Oregon, Colorado, Florida, Tennessee, and New Jersey lead the list. More here.
The number of foreclosure starts saw its biggest monthly increase since 2011, according to recently released data from RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for October. The 12 percent spike follows a pattern seen in previous Octobers but the size of the increase was significant. “We’ve seen a seasonal increase in foreclosure starts in October for the past five consecutive years, so it’s not too surprising to see the monthly increase this October,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said. “However, the 12 percent increase this October is more than double the average 5 percent monthly increase in the past five Octobers, and the even more dramatic monthly increases in some states is certainly a concern.” Despite the month-over-month spike, overall foreclosure filings – which include default notices, schedules auctions, and bank repossessions – are still down from one year ago and foreclosure starts, specifically, are down 14 percent from the same point last year. The upward trend, according to Blomquist, could be the result of a number of factors including some long-term delinquencies that are just now entering the foreclosure pipeline or, in other cases, economic uncertainty may be driving more distress. Foreclosure rates were highest in Maryland, New Jersey, Florida, Nevada, and Illinois. More here.