Paying mortgages getting easier, but housing still depressed
Fewer people are struggling to pay the mortgage, but the housing market is still in trouble. Recent improvements in the employment outlook bode well for struggling homeowners who have been hoping to get jobs, but the housing market is still in dire straits.
Number of underwater homes thought to be receding
A recent Harris Interactive poll, according to Daily Finance, revealed that, compared to last year, fewer survey subjects believed that their homes were underwater. Approximately 21 percent of the more than 3,000 respondents believed their homes were worth less than what was still owed on the home, compared to 24 percent in the same poll conducted at the same time last year. Additionally, 22 percent of respondents in the Harris poll were struggling to make mortgage payments, compared to 29 percent last year. However, 3 percent fewer people in the poll said they had a mortgage. The unemployment rate recently began to recede, which means fewer people will have to take out installment loans to cover the mortgage.
Distressed homes flooding the market
According to USA Today, analysts have been concerned with the number of distressed properties, which can keep prices down. It was estimated that, as of January, there were 1.8 million distressed houses or homes for which owners have gone 90 days or more without making payments. The price of a distressed home always is at least 20 percent lower, which makes them attractive to bargain hunters and real estate investors. Unfortunately, a large supply keeps home prices lower nationally. To make matters worse, the number of foreclosures is sure to begin rising in coming months as major mortgage lenders who had put a moratorium on foreclosures will resume foreclosing on homeowners, according to Reuters. Many of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, had to suspend foreclosures as questionable foreclosure practices at those institutions were being investigated by the government.
Cheap homes for those who can take advantage
It has been a buyer’s market for some time in real estate, and it is likely to stay that way. Home prices are anticipated to keep falling for at least the next few months, according to MSNBC. Mortgage rates are still coming off record lows several months ago, and people who can get the financing may never have to run out for same day loans to cover the mortgage payment if a low rate can be locked in. However, lenders have been fairly skittish in an uncertain climate.