News Article From: 08-07-2006
The first article, Foreclosures are on the rise in Valley, from the Arizona Republic, reports that in July, the number of "Notices of Trustee Sales" recorded in the Valley climbed to 837, from June's total of 776. Notices are sent to homeowners with loans that were more than 3 months behind on their mortgage payments. Tom Ruff of Phoenix-based data firm Information Market, which tracks foreclosures, said that by year-end trustees sales could be climbing by 100 a month. The increase in the foreclosure numbers is being attributed to higher mortgage payments on many adjustable rate mortgages kicking in, putting the squeeze on homeowners who used these ARM's to purchase when the market was hot. Tim Rocho, chief executive of Scottsdale-based Real Estate Fortune, said many of the homeowners in trouble are too highly leveraged to sell or refinance and get them out from under their debt.
The second article, Are housing prices headed for a big fall?, from MSNBC.com, reports that as the slump in U.S. housing markets picks up steam, homeowners and sellers in the once hottest markets of the country now face the biggest price declines, analysts say. And even if the U.S. economy remains healthy, it could be a year--or more-- before the market bottoms out, they say. Sellers and builders coast to coast are making concessions on homes that don't show up in the official sales price, like paying closing costs or a free pool. "So the effective price is lower and probably already falling, but you don't see that in the market price," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy.com. "I'm expecting 5 to 10 percent peak-to-trough declines in a third to maybe half of the nation's markets," he added. The markets hardest hit will be the same ones that had the biggest price run-ups last year, including the Northeast and East coast down to Washington, D.C.; much of Florida; California; hot western markets like Arizona and Las Vegas, and once-strong markets like Chicago and Minneapolis.