Foreclosures are on the rise in 2023, and the number is expected to continue to increase throughout the year. In January 2023, there were a total of 31,557 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, up 36% from a year ago. This is the highest level of foreclosure activity since 2010; however, it is a drop in the bucket compared to only a few years ago.
There are a number of factors contributing to the rise in foreclosures. One factor is the rising cost of living. The cost of housing, food, and other essential goods has been increasing steadily over the past few years, making it difficult for many people to make their mortgage payments. Another factor is the rising interest rates. The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in an effort to combat inflation, and this has made it more expensive to borrow money, including money to buy a home. This, coming on the heels of massive pay hikes to NAMFS members by Fannie Mae and their refusal to pass such on to Labor. In fact, there hasn’t been a pay increase to Labor in the Industry in over 30+ years!
The increase in foreclosures, low as it may be in volume, is likely to have a significant impact on the real estate market. Foreclosures can lead to a decline in property values, as well as an increase in the number of vacant homes. This can make it difficult for people to sell their homes, and it can also lead to a decrease in the supply of rental properties.
The amount of equity in homes today is much higher than it was during the 2008 financial crisis. In 2008, the median home value in the United States was $215,400, and the median homeowner had 53% equity in their home. Today, the median home value is $350,300, and the median homeowner has 76% equity in their home. This means that homeowners today are much more likely to be able to afford to make their mortgage payments, even if they experience a financial hardship. It is usually this number that we look to for prognostication. To that point, there is an extremely low chance of a rapid increase in default assets in the US until 2024.