There is both good and not so news in 2012?s final mortgage recordings and sales transaction numbers.
I?m most excited by the fact that for the first time since I started tracking recorded deeds in 2003, the annual number of deeds that represent a transaction actually increased over the previous year?1868 in 2012 versus 1736 in 2011. (chart page 7) In other words, an eight percent improvement! That improvement reverses a seven year trend of being in a declining or flat sale market! The leading indicators we follow in our business are currently very bullish compared to recent years. I?m quite excited about the prospects for at least the next six to nine months.
Mortgage volume, due to record low interest rates yet again, also showed its best results in three years. (chart page 7) Even home equity loans are making a modest come back overall?even though the fourth quarter comparison to 2011 is negative. (chart page 12)
The not so good news is that new foreclosures and sheriff?s deeds showed a dramatic increase in the second half of 2012. (chart pages 19 & 20) I would expect that this is a result of the ending of various moratoriums of the previous few years (robosigners, etc) and waiting periods as opposed to a new wave of defaults. Even so, new mortgage foreclosures in Monroe County are still somewhat less than in 2006 and 2007 when the subprime crisis began.
Though Federal fiscal policy and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulatory changes will undoubtedly have an effect on interest rates and the market generally, I?m encouraged that things are improving. More so, if you just pick a number in the middle between the peak sale transaction volume in 2004 and the bottom in 2010-2011, there is still plenty of opportunity for improvement.
Best wishes for a terrific 2013!
Thank you for allowing us the privilege to serve you in 2012. We appreciate this opportunity every day! We take this responsibility seriously and work hard to earn your trust.
Thank you for the support and encouragement that we receive from you. The way you gently coach us to be better is a gift of enduring value. We will always be grateful.
As is our established holiday tradition, we will make a donation in your name and the names of all our friends and associates to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington and Ellettsville.
We appreciate the opportunity to contribute to your success. We eagerly look forward to helping you achieve your goals in 2013.
Have a wonderful holiday season and a glorious New Year!
~ John Bethell Title Company, Inc.
The Monroe County market continued to show modest improvement in most areas during the third quarter when compared to the same quarter of recent years. Nevertheless, activity remains well below the peak years of 2004-2006.
- Buoyed by record low interest rates (How many times have we said that in the last four years?), conforming loans showed their strongest third quarter in the last five years. (charts pages 13 & 14)
- Mortgages securing loans of $50,000 or less are increasing over the last three years but still far below the sub-prime peak of the middle 2000?s. (charts pages 15 & 16)
- Sale transactions for owner occupied properties continue to strengthen as evidenced by the number of sales disclosures indicating the property will be the buyer?s primary residence. Through the first nine months of 2012 there were 1034 such disclosures. The first nine months of 2011 there were only 871. That?s a robust 19% increase.
- One might conclude however that the first time homebuyer tax incentives of 2008 and 2009 provided more stimulus than the current low interest rate environment. (charts pages 9 & 10)
- Sales of property not marked as the buyer?s primary residence (mostly investment property) are essentially unchanged. There were 434 such filings in the first nine months of 2011 and 431 in 2012, so far.
- The upper end of the residential market (sales of $200K to $500K) shows the most improvement. (chart page 9)
- After two years of moderating declines, new foreclosures and recorded Sheriff?s deeds are increasing significantly for the year. This is a worrisome trend that bears watching. (charts pages 17 & 18)
All in all, most of us are more concerned today with servicing our business rather than worrying about whether we have enough. A pleasant and welcome change in our focus from several years ago!