Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NM Less Slow to Foreclose Big Mortgages

Maybe it is that the owners are educated and know how to game the system. Maybe it is that lenders prefer more and smaller losses than taking the hit on a mortgage of $1million or more. Whatever the reason, it takes longer to foreclose on the larger mortgages.

“Longer” means that in Kentucky, the national champ, it takes just under 600 days to foreclose on a mortgage of $250,000 or less. For the $1 million mortgage it takes around a thousand days. That difference is well ahead of Missouri, the number two, which takes 319 days more to foreclose the big mortgage.

For New Mexico the difference is 79 days. We’re at around 550 days to foreclose the $250,000 mortgage and just over 600 days to the $1 million mortgage. Our difference ranks 33rd.

For the less expensive mortgages, Arizona is among the nation’s fastest two or three states. But that would figure. Arizona has had practice.

Fifteen states, among them Wyoming, have fewer than ten foreclosures on mortgages of more than $1million. I guess the folks in Jackson Hole are making their payments. Note than NM, a "poor" state, has enough big mortgages going under to make the list.

The report is in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Biden Comes for Money. D Plutocrats Pay Up. Fewer Jobs Being Lost.

Vice President Joe Biden came to Albuquerque yesterday and left with money.

Locals whined to talk radio about the random traffic disruption. Geez. Get a life. If a president or vice president comes to any town, to get to their destination, they will disrupt traffic. The Heather Wilson supporters displaying signs along the route were a little more creative.

For my wife it was her second such disruption. A few years ago President George W. Bush delayed her arrival at the Dubuque, Iowa, airport. She is the family Democrat. That day she called me and her dad and brother, both now deceased, to say that “your President” almost made her late.

Biden does seem to have a way with Albuquerque traffic. The Albuquerque Journal shows Biden motorcade problem stories from October 2011 and 2009.

The talk radio whiners missed a more important point. A standard litany in the public dialogue is that “New Mexico is a poor state.” The price for the Biden event was $10,000.

The Democrats go on and on about income inequality while somehow “forgetting” that Democrats are plutocrats, too. Even in “poor” New Mexico, there are Democrats with money. This was obvious under Bill Richardson, but has been hidden the past year.

On the other end of the plutocracy spectrum, fewer New Mexicans seem to be losing jobs. To be specific, fewer seem to be filing new claims for unemployment compensation.

No trend shows yet. As of this writing state level unemployment claims figures are available for five weeks of 2012. The year started nicely with 457 fewer claims filed during the week of January 7 as compared to a year ago. The figures for the following four weeks are:
Week ending January 14. New Claims: 1,820. One year change: -430.
Week ending January 21. New Claims: 1,638. One year change: -109.
Week ending January 28. New Claims: 1,654. One year change: +55.
Week ending Febuary 4. New Claims: 1,710. One year change: +286.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Abq Home Sales Down for 2011, Up for January

In Albuquerque, 2011 saw 7,152 homes sold, 53% of peak sales of 13,448 during 2005. This was the sixth consecutive year of declining sales.
The good news—sort of—is that things are getting worse less quickly. Albuquerque sales were 7,181 during 2010, making 2011 sales only 0.4% below 2010.
The better news is that, starting with July, sales increased every month of 2011 over the same month of 2010.
Albuquerque’s year over year increase continued in January. The surprise was the amount of the increase, up 13% from January 2011 to 411 sales in January 2012.
The bigger surprise for me was the 836 pending sales of single family detached homes. That was the highest pending sales since August 2010 and was up 21% from January 2011 and 39% from December.
Pending sales tend to turn into closed sales during the following month. I have watched the relationship of pending to closed sales for nine months or so. The figure for closed sales during one month seems 70% of sales pending the pervious month. Monthly pending sales have increased, year over year, for nine months.
If 70% of January’s 836 pending sales become closed, that means 585 sales closing during February. During February 2011, there were 410 sales closed.
Albuquerque prices are another story.
The median price started 2011 at $172,000, just under January 2010, went to $178,000 in July and made it back down to $160,000 in November and December. While the January 2012 median of $165,000 is up from December, it is a 4.1% drop from January 2011.
The 2011 average price peaked at $220,299 in February and was $195,861 for December. The January average, $194,352, was down $1,509, or 0.8%, from December.
Six of metro Albuquerque’s 41 sales areas reported higher average sales prices during 2011. The happy six included Placitas (ave $434,715), Sandia Heights (ave $429,186) and three north valley areas. Two of the six—Sandia Heights and the far north valley—increased sales over 2010.
North Albuquerque Acres remains Albuquerque’s most expensive area with a 2011 average price of $545,683. That’s down $103,046, or 16.9%, since 2008. The area had 101 sales during 2011, the best year of the past four.
There were 17 areas where 2011 increased over 2010. The areas tended toward the more affordable, a real estate phrase for lower priced. With 449 sales during 2011 at an average price of $167,546, the Rio Rancho Mid area is an example. Sales were up 68 units, or 18%, from 2010.