Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

According to a recent WSJ article, most mortgage modifications don’t work.  Less than 2% of the projected allotment of $75 billion for the HAMP program has actually been spent to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Nationwide, 6.7 million homes were lost to foreclosure or short sale in the decade ending in 2010.  Half again as many are projected to meet the same fate in the next 3 years.  If projections are accurate, that should keep it a buyer’s market through 2013.

The number of distressed properties in Eugene and Springfield isn’t exactly known—but they are common and I do a lot of them.  Rejection from the HAMP program was about 3 of every 4 participants in the western states, including Oregon.  If mortgage modification doesn’t work, a short sale may be a good option for you.

Most mortgage modificatins don't work.

Buyer’s Market in Eugene

Every month, I compile our local real estate market statistics. I start with the data supplied by our local multiple listing service, used by most area realtors, RMLS. Last month’s summarize 2008, and are in the table below.

Supply of houses, based on the rate of sales, didn’t dip below 8 months for the entire year. Levels above 6 months are said to be a buyer’s market. So, last year was good for buyers and not so good for sellers.

Time on the market, the time from when you list your house until you sell it, was about 4 months. About 6,000 homes were sold or went pending, in the greater Eugene area, in 2008. Nearly 3/4 of a billion dollars of houses sold in Lane County last year. So, houses are selling.

Prices have fallen. How much is not as easy to figure out as you’d think. For instance, median sales price for the year 2008 was 220K, down 6.3% from 2007 (234.9K). When you compare median sales price of December 2008 vs. December 2007, 2008 is down 11% (200K vs. 225.6K). And, when you compare 2008 vs. market peak, in June 2007, the drop is 9.7 % (220K vs. 243.5K). So, what is it? My rule of thumb is prices are down about 10% from 2007. Put another way, houses have fallen from about $165/s.f. to $150/s.f., in broad terms.

In summary, now is a good time to buy and things are still selling.

December 2008

Eugene Market Information: December 2008

Year to Date.  Click the image to see the whole table.

Year to Date. Click the image to see the whole table.