Foreclosure news round-up
Home for the holidays: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said Thursday that they won't evict anyone from a foreclosed home from Saturday through Jan. 3 -- a holiday break. Citigroup, meanwhile, announced a 30-day suspension from evictions and new foreclosures.
The Christian Science Monitor, reporting on Citigroup's decision, points out that this sort of move saves a lending institution from comparisons it might not like. For instance, Christmas Eve evictions on the other hand, "bonuses that the bankers are raking in" on the other.
Fewer interested in buying foreclosures: Forty-three percent of adults polled in a survey released this week by Trulia and RealtyTrac said they would be at least somewhat likely to buy a foreclosed home, down from 55 percent in May. Renters are more interested in buying a foreclosure than homeowners (57 percent vs. 38 percent). And -- not surprisingly -- more than 90 percent of prospective second-home buyers and investors are at least open to the idea of a foreclosure purchase.
For you fellow wonks: Just over 2,200 people were polled for the companies by Harris Interactive, which says no margin of error can be calculated because it was an online survey and not based on a probability sample.
More "shadow inventory": First American CoreLogic puts the number of off-the-market foreclosures and close-to-foreclosures at nearly 1.7 million units nationwide in September, the so-called "shadow inventory" that will presumably go up for sale in the future. That's a more than 50 percent increase from a year ago, largely because of a big build-up in seriously delinquent mortgages.
What First American calls the "visible supply" -- homes listed for sale -- totaled 3.8 million units in September, a 19 percent decrease from a year earlier.
Reining in the damage: Living Cities, a group of foundations and financial institutions, issued a report this week that looks at what some U.S. cities are doing to try to keep the wave of foreclosures from pulling entire communities under. One strategy: rentership.
Neighborhood-improvement nonprofits that have long worked to renovate properties and sell them to homeowners are now acquiring foreclosures to rent out instead -- especially in markets getting little interest from buyers:
With the economic crisis, soaring unemployment, tight credit, and millions of displaced homeowners, it is becoming clear that there is a need for more rental housing.
“There are no buyers,” says Deborah Younger of Detroit LISC. “Maybe we can sell 5 percent. [But] it’s about renters. We have 51 months of inventory. We have to get out of the notion that everyone is going to be a homeowner.”