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Takeaways from the latest market statistics


Some stats released by LPS (Lender Processing Services) on Aug. 9 paint an interesting picture about the state of mortgages, refinance, and foreclosure. In a brief press release they depict a slightly polarized mortgage market. Homeowners with loan-to-value ratios between 100 percent and 125 percent are refinancing their FHA loans over 30 percent more often than they were a year ago.

What could this mean? As interest rates hit record lows, the economy stabilizes, and the cost to rent increases, these homeowners who may have wanted to sell, move, or even may have been in trouble of falling behind on their payments have decided to refinance and hang in there with the housing market.

For real estate professionals: Realize that many people are refinancing right now and may be reluctant to list their home after the expense of the refi. If you are doing direct mail, do some demographic scrubbing to remove people with new loan recording dates, as it may save you time and money.

Foreclosures Lurk

According to LPS the number of new delinquent mortgages has remained stable. That said, one very interesting phenomenon is that 40-60 percent of homeowners who are at least 90 days late have not made a payment in over a year. Furthermore, late borrowers with loans in foreclosure in judicial states have not made a payment in at least two years as of June.

So what does this mean? Well if you live in a judicial foreclosure state and you stop making your payments you have a 60 percent chance of living there for over two years before the bank takes action.

For real estate professionals: The short sale and REO market will continue and many homeowners in default are waiting out the storm. Your persistance in marketing to them for the short sale listing will pay off over time.

By the way, LPS states that they analyze 40 million loans to produce their data.

States with highest percentage of non-current loans: FL, MS, NV, NJ, IL

States with the lowest percentage of non-current loans: MT, AK, WY, SD, ND