While I don't think this is close to over, I do believe that we may quite possibly have seen the worst of days as we cycle through Las Vegas Area Foreclosures!
One trend that pushed me to an AHA (!) moment the other night as I comb through this market in a frustrating manner, is the ALL CASH TRANSACTION.
A majority of our defaults are strategic defaults. Let's not kid ourselves here. A majority of homeowners are not losing their homes due to hardship or economic circumstances but rather they are annoyed (to put it mildly) that their homes have lost so much value.
I am frustrated every time over the past three years that we are pushed into a new year of defaults. I am now seeing defaults from homes purchased in 2008.
I do believe we may see some light at the end of the tunnel with this horrendous cycle. Prices (for the most part) have stabilized the last year. All cash purchasers have infiltrated the resale market and the numbers are now approaching close to half. Our all cash percentages have gone up from 7.4% in March 2006 (why would you purchase with all cash when even a ham sandwich could get a loan?) to 42.9% in March 2010.
What's an all cash purchaser going to default on? Taxes, HOA, Liens?
I am going to go on a limb and say the REO numbers will stabilize to decrease after watching the decreases over the last several months.
I do not believe we will see sharp appreciation soon nor are we out of the woods for underwater properties. I don't believe that part will be done cycling for at least a decade as much as I would love to wave goodbye to the most unpopular sale type - the short sale.
Staying stable is a good thing as I am hoping to not see the dog-chase-tail mid 2009 defaults as quickly as I have the other years in the past.