Good news, bad news on foreclosures
Banks are repossessing distressed homes at an increasingly fast pace, but fewer homes are falling into delinquency, a sign that the region’s foreclosure crisis has entered a new phase.
In August, lenders reclaimed 4,417 homes in South Florida, up 96.7 percent from the same month last year when banks took back 2,246 homes, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac. At the same time, new foreclosure filings dropped 52 percent to 6,899.
As banks reclaim more homes in the final stage of the foreclosure process, they will eventually need to offload them onto the already crowded resale market. In the classic supply-demand equation, additional inventory puts downward pressure on prices and home values, a phenomenon that real estate analysts have predicted recently as local inventory levels have started to rise in the past four months.
Industry watchers discussed a potential double dip in the housing market during a Condo Vultures real estate panel in Miami this week, debating the likelihood of further price declines as well as the possibility that South Florida may have already hit bottom.