Lawler: Completed Foreclosure Sales in 2011 to Fall Well Below 2010 Levels

Lawler: Completed Foreclosure Sales in 2011 to Fall Well Below 2010 Levels

by CalculatedRisk on 12/27/2011 

From economist Tom Lawler:

While data on the number of loans either seriously delinquent or in the foreclosure process suggested that an increase in the number of residential properties lost to foreclosure this year was a “slam dunk,” incoming data suggest that in fact the numbers will be down significantly from 2010, and will in fact probably come in at the lowest level since 2007!

Of course, there are no “official” data on completed foreclosure sales. However, estimates both from RealtyTrac through November and Hope Now through October suggest that this will in fact be the case.

Moreover, estimates from Hope Now on the number of completed foreclose sales on owner-occupied properties suggest that such foreclosures will be down very sharply this year. Unfortunately, Hope Now only started reporting the breakout by occupancy status in December 2009.

Short sales and DILs, in contrast are likely to be up in 2011 compared to 2010, at least according to estimates derived from Hope Now data. Unfortunately, Hope Now data doesn’t allow for an estimate of SS/DILs by occupancy type, and HN didn’t start releasing data that allowed one to derive estimated short sales/DILs until early 2010.

Here is a table of what completed foreclosure sales and short sales/DILs for residential first-lien mortgages might end up looking like for 2011, compared to the last 3 years.

Completed foreclosure sales are estimates from Hope Now, and the 2010 and 2011 short sales/DILs estimates are derived from Hope Now data. 2008 and 2009 short sales/DILs are my own estimates derived from Fannie, Freddie, FHA, and OCC mortgage metrics data. The data on the number of seriously delinquent loans and loans in the process of foreclosure are from LPS analytics (whose estimate might differ from Hope Now’s, if HN produced such estimates).

Completed Foreclosure Sales And Short Sales/DILs (thousands, estimates)
2008 2009 2010 2011(E)
Completed Foreclosure Sales 914 949 1,070 815
Owner-occupied N.A. N.A. 785 608
Non-owner-occupied N.A. N.A. 285 207
Short Sales/DILs 105 270 354 380
Foreclosures plus Short Sales/DILs 1,019 1,219 1,424 1,195
Outstanding first liens: Jan-08 Jan-09 Jan-10 Jan-11
Seriously Delinquent (90+) 1,016 1,983 3,061 2,168
In Process of Foreclosure 860 1,386 2,110 2,203

Given the number of loans either seriously delinquent or in the process of foreclosure at the beginning of the year, the number of completed foreclosure sales in 2011 is almost absurdly low, reflecting the complete screw-up of the mortgage servicing industry, and the resulting dramatic slowdown in foreclosure resolutions. As of the end of October, 2011 LPS estimated that there were 1.759 million seriously delinquent loans with the average number of days delinquent at 388 (compared to 192 days in January 2008), and there were 2.210 million loans in the foreclosure process that had been on average delinquent for 631 days.

While there are no data that I know of that break out the number of seriously delinquent loans or loans in the foreclosure process backed by properties that are vacant (or rented out by owners not paying on the mortgage), at least one industry consultant who has looked at some (unfortunately confidential) data told me that the % of loans in the foreclosure process that are not occupied by the owner of the property is “shockingly” large.

CR Note: It would really be helpful to have an official count of foreclosures and short sales.

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