Jacksonville initial foreclosure notices drop sharply in Jan. compared to 2010

26 02 2011

The number of Jacksonvillle-area homes receiving initial mailings about foreclosure proceedings dropped 53 percent in January compared with January 2010, but the number of homes seized by lending institutions in the area rose 33 percent.

The fact that the speed of filings has slowed could result from a bank-imposed freeze on foreclosure proceedings that lasted from September through December.

Overall, the number of all foreclosure-related notices sent out to addresses in the Jacksonville metropolitan area – regardless of the point in the foreclosure process – rose in January from December by 8 percent, according to real estate data aggregator RealtyTrac. Total foreclosure mailings dropped by 40 percent in January 2011 from January 2010.

The foreclosure notice numbers dropped by 27 percent in Clay County from December to January, but rose in St. Johns County by 96 percent during the same time.

Throughout the metropolitan area, foreclosure actions affected one Jacksonville-area home out of every 391 in January, ranking the city 44th most affected by foreclosure activity nationwide.

Nationwide, fewer U.S. homes entered the foreclosure process in January than in any month in more than three years, The Associated Press reported. That’s a sign that lenders are taking longer to move against homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments.

“We are still seeing the lingering after-effects of the documentation issues that plagued lenders through the last quarter of 2010,” Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac, told the AP.

“In some cases, courts are being more demanding and more particular about what they’ll even allow to go into foreclosure.”

In Florida, the number of homes receiving a foreclosure-related warning last month dropped nearly 16 percent from December and about 54 percent from the same month last year.

But even with the sharp decline, Florida still had the second-highest number of homes in some stage of foreclosure, RealtyTrac data showed.

Similar to the trend seen in the Jacksonville area, lenders may be taking longer to move homes throughout the nation into the initial stage of the foreclosure process, but they stepped up home repossessions in January.

Banks took back 78,133 properties nationwide last month, an increase of 12 percent from December – but fewer than in January 2010, RealtyTrac said.

The January total for the U.S. was down 11 percent from a year earlier.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Discounted homes rise 17.6% in January

26 02 2011

The number of discounted homes rose 17.6 percent in January compared to the same month a year ago, far outpacing a rise in inventory, according to a monthly review of multiple listing service listings in 26 major markets by national real estate brokerage ZipRealty.

Inventory overall rose 2.8 percent year-over-year last month, to 583,218 for-sale homes. Of those, nearly half — 46.2 percent — had experienced at least one price reduction. That’s a jump from January 2010, when 40.4 percent had seen a discount.

“In more than half of the surveyed markets, sellers are averaging at least two reductions in price,” said John Oldham, ZipRealty’s spokesperson, in a statement. “Inventory has grown throughout much of the year; as sellers face the pressure of more buying options, they seem to be discounting to attract buyers resulting in list prices being cut for over 46 percent of the homes.”

The median discount last month was $19,088, down 12.9 percent from $21,925 in January 2010. Meanwhile, the median list price for a home fell nearly the same percentage, 13 percent, between the two time periods, to $225,015 from $258,634. The price-reduction-to-list-price ratio remained flat at 7.8 percent.

Sellers cut prices of more than half of homes in four markets: Baltimore (50.6 percent); Jacksonville, Fla. (54.7 percent); Orlando, Fla. (52.1 percent); and Phoenix (55.4 percent).

Homes in the three Florida markets reviewed saw the highest price reduction to list price ratios: Orlando, 12.5 percent; Jacksonville, 12.1 percent; and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/Palm Beach, 11.9 percent.

Austin, Texas, and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., saw the smallest discounts relative to price: 5.2 percent each.

Source: Inman News





Jacksonville is one of two regions statewide that grew in GDP in 2009

26 02 2011

A new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that economic production in Jacksonville continued to grow in 2009, a recession year in which all other state metro regions but one decreased or remained stagnant.

The region’s gross domestic product increased by 12.73 percent from 2008 to 2009, from $7.175 billion to $8.31 billion. Since 2001, GDP has increased 45.47 percent in Jacksonville. Local per capita production increased too in 2009, rising an average of $3,838 to $41,329 per person.

The lion’s share of production and growth was in the government sector, unsurprising in light of the proximity of Marine bases Camp Lejeune and New River, as well as the president’s Grow the Force Initiative, which brought more than 60,000 troops and family members to eastern North Carolina in 2008 and 2009. That year, government production rose from $5.174 billion to $6.22 billion.

The other North Carolina metro region that saw an increase in GDP was Fayetteville, an area boosted by its proximity to the Fort Bragg Army base.

The president of the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce, Mona Padrick, said that the latest data confirmed that the military made Jacksonville an economic oddity in times of recession.

“The military is our economic engine, so we tend to be insulated from what is going on in the rest of the country,” she said. “I do think that one part of it with the rest of the country being in the dire recession that we’ve been in … we have not gone down like the rest of the country has; we have contracted a lot of companies to come here. Those companies have attracted people from other areas.”

Some of the biggest production boosts in 2009 were in financial activities and real estate, rental and leasing, as well as professional and business services. Construction fell slightly, a precursor to the massive infrastructure buildup that 2010 would bring, with Camp Lejeune spending nearly $2 million a day on vertical growth projects for much of the year.

The veterans service supervisor for the Jacksonville Employment Security Commission, Larry Woods, said getting a civilian job in Jacksonville remained a challenge, but the ongoing work meant there were still jobs to be had on base.

“We don’t necessarily see a lot of expansion of growth in town, per se, but we have a lot of our contractors do work aboard the base, and we have a lot of jobs there,” he said.

The wave of growth has kept the region several percentage points below the state in terms of unemployment, and experts said Thursday that the area has not crested that wave yet.

The nation is now beginning to emerge from its recession, said David Wilmoth, division chair for Social and Behavioral Sciences and economics instructor for Coastal Carolina Community College.

“I think if anything our economic is going to continue to grow,” he said. “And as baby boomers continue to retire, I think you’re going to see more people move to the coast, ands that’s going to be a trend you’re going to see for the next decade.”

Though military presence may decrease in this area following a downsizing of the Corps predicted by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the effects of that will likely be limited, Padrick said.

“Because we have a large military contingency here, we will likely be affected in some way,” she said. “As always, this is a military community that is very flexible, and has always dealt with deployments, sometimes more going out than others. And the business community has always reacted very well to that, and to riding those economic waves as they ebb and flow.”

Woods agreed.

“We might see a decrease in Marines,” he said. “… But as long as the community and Camp Lejeune, New River and Cherry Point enjoy the relationships we have built over the years, I think we’ll see a relatively stable environment.”

Source: EncToday.com








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