Foreclosure numbers rise in Reno-Sparks, fall statewide and in Clark CountyTopic: Foreclosure
The number of foreclosures in Washoe County increased in January by 16 percent over December and by 23 percent over last January, according to a report by RealtyTrac.
One in every 131 homes in Reno-Sparks was a foreclosed property in January. Clark County continues to lead the nation in foreclosure rate, at one in every 82 homes.
But the Southern Nevada county experienced a decrease of 12 percent in the number of foreclosures filed from December 2010 to January 2011, and the slightest increase (0.48 percent) in foreclosures filed year over year.
Ken Amundson of First Choice 500 Realty thinks the disparity between the numbers likely was affected by the moratorium on foreclosure filings being lifted.
“The most likely thing is that we’re seeing the end of a partial moratorium between the end of November to early December, three weeks overlapping two months, and I suspect it affected both months in lower numbers than normal,” he said. “January reflects the release of that moratorium and playing catchup. That’s the only explanation, because the actual total numbers have gone down in terms of these filings and the way we see them locally.”
Statewide, filings decreased 9 percent from December and an increased 3.5 percent over January 2010.
Brian Kaiser, a housing and real estate analyst for the Center for Regional Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, cited the consistently up-and-down nature of the foreclosure market.
“I think it’s just the nature of tracking very fickle, volatile numbers,” he said. “They have been all over the map from month-to-month, so you’re going to see big swings like that. Overall, it seems like the housing distress indicators are worse for Southern Nevada, but some months don’t support that.”
For Kaiser, the more disturbing news is the 1,379 foreclosure filings in Washoe County compared to only 711 foreclosure sales in the fourth quarter.
“A disturbing trend developed in 2010 as sales of bank-owned homes slowed 15 percent, but actual new foreclosures only slowed 2 percent,” he said. “Before 2010, sales of bank-owned homes were able to at least keep pace with the new foreclosures entering the market. With those sales slowing, it will lead to more empty homes sitting for longer periods of time before they sell.”
The average sales prices of foreclosed homes in Washoe County fell to $169,077 in 2010, down from $181,347 in 2009 and $229,209 in 2008.
“The real issue is pricing relative to how the rest of the economy is performing,” Kaiser said. I don’t think the area’s real estate market will be able to stabilize until we see that area’s job market stabilize. With thousands of distressed homes either sitting in inventory or sitting on banks’ balance sheets awaiting listing as a ‘bank-owned property,’ I think the natural result will be for prices to continue to fall in order to entice buyers into this volatile market.”
Kaiser added that the pool of qualified buyers also is smaller than it was previously, and that for most people income is shrinking, not expanding.
“It’s going to be tougher to find people willing to commit to a 30-year note, even with prices rolled back to levels not seen in over a decade in this market,” Kaiser said.
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