By Paul Tooher
A new report points to the improving health of the nation’s housing market, with the number of foreclosures initiated in March dropping to their lowest level in more than seven years.
According to data compiled by Black Knight Financial Services, banks moved to foreclose on 88,000 properties in March, down more than 27 percent from a year ago. Foreclosures reached a peak of 316,000 in March 2009, according to the financial services company.
The report also showed that 5.5 percent of all mortgage borrowers were 30 days or more past due on their loans, the lowest level since late 2007.
Meanwhile, the data showed that the recent rise in housing prices had thrown a life preserver to homeowners who found themselves underwater – a condition when the size of their mortgage exceeded the assessed value of their home.
According to Black Knight, one in 10 borrowers were underwater in March, compared with one in three borrowers four years ago.
The foreclosure rate in Sandusky stood at 7.54 percent in March, up 3.5 percent from the previous year, according to Zillow. The Zillow Home Value Index – Zillow’s median valuation for an area, including single-family homes, condominiums and cooperatives – for Sandusky stood at $65,200 in March, a decline of 1.8 percent from the previous year.
Prices are expected to fall another 3.3 percent over the next year, according to Zillow. The median price of homes currently listed in Sandusky is $93,500 while the median price of homes that sold is $76,335.
For the Sandusky metro area, on the other hand, the median home value stood at $120,300 in March, an increase of 8.6 percent over the previous year. And Zillow predicts values will rise 1.1 percent within the year. The median price of homes currently listed in the Sandusky metro is $152,900.
In May, rates for a 30-year-mortgage in the Sandusky area stood at 4.08 percent, slightly above the national average of 4.06 percent, according to the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.