It has been quite a while since the historic $25 billion settlement between forty-nine states and some of America's largest banks has been a topic here. However, there are perhaps some of our South Florida readers familiar with the housing case that has reportedly helped many reduce the principal amount owed on their mortgage.
Although most of our previous posts show how the South Florida area is faring much better than many other real estate markets, there are some who are still suffering from the housing meltdown. Those South Florida residents who have a home that is "underwater" -- worth less than is owed on it -- a mortgage loan modification sometimes isn't an option. But, for many, there is another option: a short sale.
Facing foreclosure can be one of the scariest things a homeowner has to deal with. The possibility of foreclosure can sometimes be seen ahead of time, starting with delinquent payments, moving on to trying to negotiate a new mortgage plan with the banks and then, eventually, leading to a foreclosure. But, a recent report came out recently suggesting that the years of problems residents of South Florida have faced in complying with mortgage payments may be easing.
For most Americans, especially here in Florida, the data concerning residential real estate can be particularly impactful. So, when a recent report says that the number of new home sales rose in July but prices fell, what is someone interested in the South Florida real estate market supposed to make of that data?
When the nation was slammed by the burst of the housing bubble, South Florida wasn't able to escape the ramifications. Property values plummeted throughout the state, forcing many homeowners to seek a mortgage loan modification. This allowed them to avoid delinquent payments or foreclosure.
While South Florida has been spoiled with good news for the local real estate market, the rest of the country hasn't been fairing quite so well. Many of our readers are familiar by now with the data that continues to point out that South Florida is one area of the country that experienced a revival in real estate transactions over the course of the last several months. And from looking at most recent reports, the local housing market continues to improve.
The South Florida condo market has not experienced the same mini-boom that the single-family homes market has lately. Condo sales in the area have for the most part been in line with the ongoing residential real estate malaise that the rest of the country is enduring. However, recent reports indicate that the condo business is also set for a rebound, as growth was reported in the second quarter of 2012.
Unfortunately, the bad news concerning the national housing market continues to flow, as the numbers for the month of May indicate that there was a 9 percent increase in the amount of foreclosure filings from just a month ago.
Many of our readers in South Florida may be familiar with the government program known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP. Under this program, which began in 2009, people who owe more on their homes than the homes are worth can refinance the associated mortgages through a more streamlined, efficient process.
While we have frequently discussed the recent upward trend of the South Florida real estate market, it is important to remember that, while the picture in some cases may be improving, many homeowners are still struggling. Florida was one of the hardest hit states during the housing meltdown, and a full recovery is far from complete.