Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Forewarned before Foreclosed

A somewhat disturbing trend is continuing to sweep across the national and local real estate markets. Last year, Washington State’s mortgage foreclosures increased again, claiming nearly 20,000 homes statewide.

The trend is a national epidemic, recording a 42% increase in foreclosures across the country last year. Experts blame the foreclosures on resetting loans, which increase interest rates and mortgage payments for homeowners. When big financial changes occur in the midst of a cool real estate season, it can be difficult for homeowners to cope – leaving those who cannot refinance or sell their homes to face the ultimate real estate penalty.

Fortunately, the rate increase was less dramatic in Washington’s conservative market. Foreclosure rates grew 25% here, with one in every 129 homes facing the ax statewide, but almost one in 75 specifically in Tacoma. The Seattle/Bellevue area stayed relatively stable at one in every 136.

The state that took the largest hit was Colorado, with one in every 33 homes being foreclosed – and a jaw-dropping one in 24 in Denver itself.

The warning is clear: the fluctuation of the economy and mortgage rates can often cause dire consequences among homeowners. The greatest weapon against unforeseen problems is getting the best information up front.

Visit or check out our innovative real estate IDX tools at for the latest news on the Seattle housing market.


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