How to Tell if Your Housing Market Has Hit Bottom (Part 4)

by The Real Estate Faction on July 21, 2011

Foreclosures

Healthier communities have fewer foreclosed properties pulling down values of other homes.

Just as jobs fuel the local housing engine, foreclosures put on the brakes. Even in good times, one foreclosed property in a neighborhood can bring down the values of every other house around it. And, in bad times, entire metropolitan areas can be swamped by abandoned, foreclosed houses.

In 2010, the worst year so far, about 2.23% of all the homes received a foreclosure filing, according to RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif., firm that monitors foreclosed properties. In Las Vegas, the poster child of the Sun Belt’s real-estate bust, the foreclosure rate was 12%, more than 80% of homes are worth less than their mortgages and values are down more than 50% from their peak.

And what was the foreclosure rate in Utica, the buckle of upstate New York’s merciless Snow Belt? Barely a flurry, just 0.04%. And home values are down just 4.2%, helped along by a growing population.

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