Big jump in foreclosures: Who’s immune?

Probably not too many people.  Though California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida are still the poster children for the housing carnage, Idaho, Illinois, and Oregon are up-and-comers.  Foreclosures for February 2009 are up 30% from February 2008 levels.  Seven hundred thousand properties owned by banks haven’t been put on the market yet.

What may make the foreclosure situation worse is that some communities and homeowners’ associations are clamping down on owners’ rights to rent their properties.  Without the option to rent out, owners are forced to carry the full weight of their mortgage payments until they can sell — or until they’re foreclosed on.  It’s simply HOAs looking after their interests, but it’s at the expense of strapped homeowners.

The 700,000 REO properties is huge.  That will take a while to burn off, and home prices will go down when they hit market.

No one’s immune.  If you’re not being foreclosed on, someone near you probably is, and that affects the value of your house and your neighborhood.

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