The outlook for 2012 continues to be filled with uncertainty. The market has been permanently transformed over the last few years, but will that be enough to move things forward or will it continue to stay stuck in the mud? There are several key factors which will decide the fate of Lenders as well as the direction that the Real Estate industry moves in 2012.
One major issue that will likely affect the real estate market in 2012 is the potential settlement between Servicers and state Attorneys General. The terms set out by the AG’s could free up the inventory currently slowly making its way through the pipeline. Another potential issue could be the rollout of a very lenient modification program which could most likely increase mortgage defaults because current borrowers would deliberately miss payments, hoping to qualify for debt reductions. The modification requirements could add up to 280 days to the time it takes Lenders to seize properties and increase the inventory of foreclosed homes. The costs of the delays, overhead requirements, advances and principal write-downs could be passed onto consumers. This would slow foreclosure timelines to a trickle, overflow local judicial systems and extend the recovery time for the economy as a whole.
We expect to see short sales continue to take center stage in 2012. Currently short sales have accounted for a larger percent of Lender workouts and we expect to see those levels rise in 2012. While Loan Modifications volumes have declined in 2011, performance has steadily improved over time.
Overall, the outlook for 2012 has one clear message: Be prepared for the unexpected. 2012 could be the year where the floodgates open up and volumes of foreclosures and REO begin to flow. However, the uncertainty of a Servicer settlement with the AG’s and the uncertainty of new government intervention could extend today’s current environment. If you are looking to buy or sell and need more info about s specific neighborhood feel free to call us at 714-366-6117 or visit http://www.TheAragoneTeam.com
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