Two Month High in 3rd Party Success Rate
While the Palm Beach County Clerk was closed for Good Friday there was plenty of room on the docket earlier in the week. So last week’s drop below 200 for the first time in 4 weeks can probably be blamed on many things but certainly not the Easter holiday. We keep hearing that 2012 will be the year we see much higher foreclosure numbers but to date those projections have not come to fruition. For the 1st quarter of the year we sit at 2,812 foreclosed properties compared to 3,926 during the same period last year. So instead of a big increase in 2012 we are down about 28% from year ago levels.
The chart above shows you the six-month trend of foreclosures in Palm Beach County which accurately reflects the trend over the past 180 days. After 4 straight weeks of increases we had a reversal with a significant drop in this week’s total. A total of 191 properties were foreclosed upon which was well behind the 247 we had last week. With that number we drop behind the 6 month average of 214 per week but still far below the 368 units we saw foreclosed on during the same week in 2011.
So for those calling for higher foreclosure numbers in 2012 we better get prepared for huge jumps in the coming quarters. With a severe shortage in quality inventory in many market segments, especially the single family home under $400,000, one has to scratch their head wondering what takes these banks so long to make decisions. The sooner we get these homes into the hands of new owners the sooner we can take off the band aid and see the scar has finally healed.
“Experts” tell us the market is going to have a very difficult time absorbing all this excess inventory but from what I see that is far from the truth. Banks seem to be holding back on releasing these homes in an attempt to push prices higher and not flooding the market. But as with most of their decision making that is a flawed concept as 2% a year goes to property taxes, then add in association fees, insurance expense and their other costs the last thing they want to do is hold property. That is unless they want to lose more money.
So we are sitting, waiting and wishing for more inventory from these foreclosure auctions……