All Articles Tagged "housing market"
Foreclosures are still a major problem in the United States. In fact, as Business Insider reports, foreclosure data from RealtyTrac shows that one in every 905 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing in April. While these numbers have dropped significantly—23 percent from a year ago—there are pockets of America that continue to get hit hard with foreclosures.
Business Insider listed the 14 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rate.
On the list were such cities as Chicago-Naperville-Joliet and Myrtle Beach, Florida. Ohio made a few appearances on the list as well, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo and Akron. In that last city, one in every 211 homes received a foreclosure filing in April 2013. There are currently 1,481 properties in foreclosure. This represents a 97.99 percent increase from March and an 146.83 percent boost from last year. In Columbia, SC, 1 in every 415 homes received a foreclosure filing in April 2013. Some 789 properties had foreclosure filings. This marked a whopping 210.63 percent increase from March and an 189.01 percent boost from April 2012.
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach also made the list. In April 1 in every 269 homes received a foreclosure filing. The total properties in the area with foreclose filings were 9,127. Here, there was a drop—17.61 percent–from March but 1.06 percent increase from the previous year.
The crisis is pronounced across the board, with the impact hitting the level of wealth among African Americans particularly hard. The level of homeownership in this country has hit the lowest point since 1995, according to Reuters, to 65.2 percent. Among the banks with the most foreclosures, says The Huffington Post, are SunTrust, PNC, and HSBC. HSBC, for instance, has 16,317 homes in foreclosure with 60 percent of them “seriously under water.” That bank reached a $249 million settlement earlier this year after complaints that the bank wrongly foreclosed on tons of homes.
The housing market may be turning the corner. In September, home prices rose the most in six years.
“U.S. home prices jumped 5% in September compared with a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase since July 2006,” reports USA Today. The data, which points to a housing recovery, comes from CoreLogic, a provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business and government.
This is good news. In fact, states the newspaper, “Steady price increases should give the housing market more momentum when home sales pick up in the spring. Rising prices encourage more homeowners to sell their homes and entice would-be buyers to purchase homes before prices rise further.”
The recovery seems to be nearly nationwide, as prices increased in all but seven states. And in just 18 of 100 large cities, they declined, as indicated by the report. Home prices rose in some of the states that were hardest hit by the housing bust. In Arizona, for example, prices for houses were boosted by 18.7 percent over the past year. Meanwhile in Idaho, which saw the second greatest increase, prices jumped 13.1 percent, found CoreLogic.
There were some drops reported– Rhode Island (3.5 percent) and Illinois (2.3 percent).
Because the market seems to be turning around, “home builders started construction on new homes and apartments at the fastest pace in more than four years in September,” states the USA Today article. “They also requested the most building permits in four years, a sign that many are confident that home sales gains will continue.”
Exit polling last night indicates that a feeling of overall economic improvement was a factor in voter support for President Obama. Forty percent of those surveyed said they thought the economy was on an upswing. “But in a much tighter race than the one that first swept Obama into the White House, the president hung onto his key demographics of women, young people, blacks and Hispanics,” the AP reports.
A City College of New York assistant professor of political science, Daniel DiSalvo, has written a column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discussing what the headline calls “The Great Reverse Migration” of blacks away from the northern parts of the US.
Citing the astounding figures found throughout The Warmth of Other Suns, the fantastic book by Isabel Wilkerson about the first Great Migration of blacks to the North to escape Jim Crow, DiSalvo notes the millions who made the trip to places like New York and Chicago during the 1900s. About six million to be exact.
But now there are new stats showing that a high number of blacks are making the reverse trip to places like Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and Florida. More specifically, they’re making the move from big cities to other cities like Dallas and Atlanta (though moves to the suburbs have been plentiful as well). Citing figures from the New York Times, the column says that by the end of the 2000s, the black population in the South had grown 75 percent. New York, Illinois and Michigan are the states seeing the biggest exodus.
“Many of the migrants are ‘buppies’ — young, college-educated, upwardly mobile black professionals — and older retirees,” the column says. In other words, blacks who are moving up the ladder are seeking greener pastures (literally) by also moving to places where they can have bigger homes, a backyard, and a solidly middle class way of life. A lot of older retirees are also laying down fresh roots across the South.
DiSalvo pinpoints three reasons for this movement: job prospects, housing prices and the state of public education. The author, who is also a senior fellow at Manhattan Institute’s Center for State and Local Leadership, a conservative-leaning organization, goes on to talk about the possible political repercussions. Among them, the political impact of black immigrants, such as people from Africa and the Caribbean; and the difficulty in creating “predominantly black districts” as the black population spreads out. He posits that blacks may “try their political fortunes” outside of the Democratic party.
“New political attitudes among blacks also have trouble finding expression when black candidates are concentrated into one party,” the column says, suggesting that blacks may turn to the GOP or become independents.
While there’s no doubt that the economic and political landscape is changing for the black community, DiSalvo seems to take his argument a little too far. Blacks in this country continue to make great strides. More blacks are going to college, becoming entrepreneurs and joining the ranks of the middle class.
However, the economic recession has taken a toll. Black unemployment remains high. Women and minority business owners have trouble getting funding to start their businesses. Pew research shows that economic mobility has “stalled.” Some argue that many of the gains made by the black middle class were lost when the housing market went bust. So some of the same economic concerns linger, and progress has created a crop of new ones.
And, at least right now, Mitt Romney and the GOP aren’t making the case that he and his party represent all people. Romney is still reeling from the secret footage containing his talk about the 47 percent. Now there’s new ( or rather, old and played out) video of the President that’s again raising issues with race and race-baiting. And many are still thinking about the scant minority presence at the GOP convention. “…Obama is also president for Americans they felt were not reflected at last week’s largely white Republican National Convention, including advocates for women’s reproductive rights, Latinos fighting for immigration reform and the DREAM Act, and gay rights activists,” reported NPR around the time of the Democratic convention last month.
-Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of the first women ever to be admitted to the He Man Women-Haters Club a.k.a. the Augusta National Golf Club. The other woman to be admitted is Darla Moore, a South Carolina financier who was the highest paid woman woman in the financial industry in the 1980s and 90s and married a billionaire in 1991. The club, which has been around for 80 years, issued a statement yesterday saying, “These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership.” The issue of admitting woman became major earlier this year. IBM was a big sponsor of the Masters tournament (held at Augusta) but wouldn’t let its CEO, Virginia Rometty, join. The four previous men had. It’s reported that the club also sees the admittance of women as an opportunity for growth — of the game and its own roster.
-Travel is getting trickier. A number of regional airlines, such as Pinnacle and Comair, are shutting down or headed to bankruptcy court. These smaller carriers are responsible for half of the flights that take off and land in the U.S. This means longer drive times to the nearest airport for many across the U.S. At the same time, airfares are going up. Southwest is fixing to charge $5 more on one-way fares for trips that are 500 miles or less. Other airlines will likely follow in their footsteps. But if it’s any consolation, fares to Europe have gone down for the fall now that the Olympics are over. Still, the prices can be steep ($750 to London) because of fuel costs.
-This New York Times article says that President Obama wasn’t aggressive enough with his policies to help homeowners facing foreclosure. “Mr. Obama and his advisers were convinced that even in the depths of an unyielding crisis, most Americans did not want their neighbors rescued at public expense,” the article says. Thoughts?
-The Beloit College Mindset List, which details the reference points for the incoming class of 2016, has been released. Guess what? Most of us are old. Some of the items on the list: they’ve never seen an actual airline “ticket”; the Jacksons (as in Tito, Janet and Jermaine) rather than the Kennedys are “American royalty”; and they have very little use for a radio.
-Missouri Rep. Todd Akin has apologized (again) for his absurd and outrageous comments about “legitimate rape” in this online clip. Some Republicans are urging him to drop out of the race.
-Thousands of people gathered yesterday evening for a vigil to remember the victims of the mass shooting in Aurora, CO that took place early Friday morning. Those gathered named each of the 12 people killed followed by the words, “We will remember.” Another 58 people were wounded in the attack. President Obama flew to Colorado to meet with the survivors and their families. The suspected gunman, James Holmes, will appear in court today. Authorities say there’s evidence that Holmes had been planning the attack for months.
-The N.C.A.A. has suspended Penn State University’s football team from all bowl games for the next four years and has vacated wins between 1998 and 2011. The stiff penalties levied against the school over the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal also include a $60 million fine (the equivalent of one year’s gross revenue), reduction in the number of football scholarships it offers and the opportunity for currently enrolled and new student-athletes to leave for another school. The punishment could have big financial repercussions for the school besides that fine. The football team is a big moneymaker for the university. Over the weekend, a statue of the team’s former coach, Joe Paterno, was removed.
-Facebook will deliver its first-ever earnings report as a public company this Thursday. The results will be closely scrutinized after its botched IPO in May. Analysts polled say they expect $1.1 billion in second quarter revenue on earnings of 12 cents a share.
-The CEO of clothing retailer Wet Seal, Susan McGalla, has been fired. The move comes after allegations from three former employees earlier this month that the company was firing black employees because they didn’t fit in with the “brand image.” They are suing the company. Wet Seal expects to announce a decline in same-store sales for the second quarter.
-The Daily Beast lists its picks for the best cities to buy a house. Fargo, N.D. (a place few people actually want to live in) comes out on top.
Comedian and actor, Chris Tucker, may be facing foreclosure of his $6 million dollar mansion. Tucker purchased the home in 2007, the same year “Rush Hour 3″ was released and the housing market started to deflate.
SunTrust Bank in Florida filed the papers saying Tucker owed over $4.4 million on the home which features a personal spa, swimming pool and pirate ship themed basement.
Although “Rush Hour 3″ was a box office hit, it was Tucker’s last film.
More From Madame Noire!
(New York Times) — In summer 2010, Congress set aside $1 billion for a program intended to bail out people in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. It was estimated that the program, administered by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, would help as many as 30,000 households. But the program is now ending after achieving lackluster results and stirring widespread recrimination. Fewer than 15,000 households are expected to receive help despite enormous demand, and perhaps half of the money will go unspent. The department attributed the program’s performance to the way it was set up by Congress. But RepresentativeBarney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, an author of the legislation, said the program’s failings were a result of poor administration and the department’s late start in rolling it out.
(Washington Examiner) — The region’s housing market is showing signs of recovery, with median home prices in some areas nearing pre-recession highs. But experts warn that the market will hit some bumps before it returns to full strength. The strongest signs of growth are in the region’s inner core of the District, Arlington County and Alexandria. In particular, the District’s median price in August was nearly 90 percent of its November 2005 high, and in Arlington County it reached 95 percent of the peak in June 2006, according to data from Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc., which tracks the local housing market. The Washington area is performing at the top of the curve nationally as well, with the highest average home price of any metropolitan area in the country, according to July data released Tuesday by Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller.
(NBC News) — Tough economic times continue to burden Americans, especially when it comes to people losing their jobs and their homes. While balancing both campaigning and duties as head of state, President Barack Obama fights for his jobs bill, attempting to assuage worries that he has been inattentive to his political base in the black community. He insists that Congress pass it now and argues that this bill will help begin incremental change. Many say that he has not done enough. But faced with slow change from federal bureaucrats, local governments are taking things into their own hands. The city of Washington has partnered with nonprofit organizations to create a new program that trades hard work on vacant buildings into homes for the homeless. If successful, the program would begin to reduce high unemployment rates, curb increased homelessness, and alleviate shriveling public assistance funds.
(Huffington Post) — From the looks of the mortgage relief companies Christopher Mallett has marketed in recent years, offering lower payments and new loan terms to troubled homeowners, one might easily get the impression that he has the backing of the federal government or is running non-profit help groups. Mallett is the driving force behind usbankloanmodiicationgov.info and mortgagehelpgov.us. He also founded The Department of Consumer Services Protection, U.S. Debt Care, the U.S. Mortgage Relief Council and several other operations with similarly authoritative if not auspicious-sounding names. But people who turned to them for help didn’t receive services, according to court documents filed by the Federal Trade Commission in U.S. District Court this month. Their names were instead sold to companies that almost universally scam distressed homeowners, federal regulators say.