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2010-03-17 11:48:36

Particularly troubling for the housing industry is the relentless rise of foreclosure filings in Utah couple of years. The Mortgage Bankers Association has just released their data on foreclosure rates for the fourth quarter. The data show that the magnitude of the foreclosure problem in Utah is not nearly as severe as some states; Utah ranks 23rd among all states with a fourth quarter foreclosure rate of 3.30 percent. Although well down in the rankings the 3.3 percent represents the highest level of foreclosure filings ever reported in Utah. Unfortunately the Mortgage Bankers Association does not provide data on the county level.

From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2009 the number of homes in the foreclosure process has increased by four times, rising from 3,557 to 14,369. All indicators point to another year of increasing foreclosures in Utah. The annual rate for 2010 will very likely reach four percent, resulting in 17,400 homes in the foreclosure process; nearly triple the previous high of 6,800 homes in 2002.

Another sign of distress in the housing market is short sales. Currently, 21 percent of all homes (single-family, condominiums, twin homes and town homes) listed or under contract in Salt Lake County are short sale homes. Of the 1,702 short sales homes 1,455, or 85 percent, are priced below $300,000, which makes for tough competition for contractors.

What impact the job market, foreclosures, short sales, and the withdrawal of the Feds will have on the housing market is uncertain. The hope is that the positive momentum of 2009, growing optimism of builders, elimination of unsold inventory, and demographic growth will be sufficient for the industry to build on last year’s gains.

See this link for graphs and tables or to download and print the report.

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