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For those property watchers who are anxious to see when and if the sharp climb in interest rates and the slowdown in home prices is translating into widespread defaults in high-priced home markets, the latest data from oneline real estate information firm ProperyShark.com will give you no definitive answer. The site reports that New York City’s 535 foreclosures in the second quarter of this year is a decrease of 6% from the prior quarter. Los Angeles saw a steep 11% increase in trustee sales, to 1,250. Foreclosing on a home in Los Angeles doesn’t require the lengthy court time as New York, so for that reason L.A. is considered a harbinger of what might happen in other markets. Still, the majority of Los Angeles’ forced sales were in Palmdale and South Central L.A., two lower-income areas where trouble should be expected in even the faintest downdraft. Once-booming Miami’s 515 foreclosures puts it high on the list. On a percentage basis, a home in Miami is nearly four times more likely to be in foreclosure than New York. “South Florida is definitely one of the first regions we have seen to show clear signs of problems in the housing market,” says PropertyShark ceo Ryan Slack. At .066%, however, the foreclosure rate there isn’t likely to spell doomsday for Miami’s real estate market, not yet.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.