It’s quite a fight! We’re in the early rounds of the latest foreclosure bout and so far from all appearances it looks like an even match.
In the red corner, weighing in at an impressive 115,292 properties, are the foreclosures (nationwide for August) resulting from a number of economic factors presently affecting the real estate sector such as higher interest rates, fluctuating energy costs, job losses in some instances, lower sales volume, longer marketing time and a significantly reduced rate of price appreciation.
In the blue corner, throwing their political weight around, are the cities and states fighting to keep foreclosures from adversely impacting their economies while helping homeowners in distress out of the financial predicament that landed them in foreclosure.
It seems to be a growing trend that states and cities — particularly those that are rampant with foreclosures — are seeking solutions to help their troubled citizens be it through counseling hotlines like in Colorado or Baltimore, or by seeking to make public the names of mortgage brokers, appraisers and “other professionals connected to each mortgage loan” like in North Carolina.
Whether these efforts pay off, or if this is just the latest attempt for politicians to look good to their constituents in an election year, only time will tell. In the meantime, there’s many rounds left in this bout, and the judges (at the Federal Reserve) are observing and scoring the fight very carefully.
Real estate pundits are saying not to expect a knockout punch anytime soon. While the economy is cooling off, they are predicting a soft landing which would stand to benefit both contenders in this bout. Investors, real estate agents and hopeful homebuyers registered with RealtyTrac would continue to have a pool of potential investment opportunities to choose from, and economies — both at the local and state level — would not be devastated by skyrocketing foreclosures and their underlying causes — widespread unemployment and soaring interest rates.
In that case, all bets are off. Stay tuned for the later rounds!