Pensacola’s boiling real estate market could help keep foreclosure rates low
Foreclosure rates across the country are at historic lows, but experts don’t yet know if there’s a surge coming this summer or if pandemic-related housing booms have spared many delinquent homeowners from to be seized.
In the Pensacola metro area, foreclosure rates are still double the national average — amounting to 0.4% of all mortgages in October, according to the information and analysis firm’s website. real estate Core Logic.
Overdue mortgages, meaning a homeowner hasn’t paid their mortgage for at least 30 days, made up 4.3% of mortgages in the Pensacola area, which has been declining since October 2020 when this rate was 6.5%, showing a promising trend.
Micah Grant, an assistant professor at the University of West Florida, said many factors had played into the lockdown situation – namely a nationwide moratorium on proceedings and up to 18 months of a forbearance period to defer loan repayments – but banks are just starting to look at how to crack down on delinquent loans, foreclosure proceedings may start to ramp up in early 2022.
“Spring and summer could be when we see it hit,” he said.
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A foreclosure occurs when a homeowner is late on a loan and their bank seizes the property, usually reselling it to another party or offering it up for auction.
What experts don’t yet know, however, is whether the low foreclosure rates are due to banks not pursuing them, or the alternative that people have suddenly gained a lot of equity in their homes. and now have other options.
Southtrust Law and Title lawyer Jeremy Dubyak, who works on foreclosure cases, said entities such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau still did not have much clarity on how lenders and banks can pursue foreclosure cases, which has prevented many from filing lawsuits.
“I think we all expected a rush and we didn’t get any, but as soon as these (interest) rates go up a bit more, we’ll see,” he said.
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Data from the Escambia County Clerk’s Office shows that since August, foreclosure filings have remained relatively low, between 13 and 22 cases filed per month, compared to 2019, when that same period saw between 31 and 45 files submitted per month.
The pandemic has sent housing prices skyrocketing, especially in the Pensacola area where the median home price rose more than $70,000 last year. For most homeowners, that means they’ve acquired equity that they could use as leverage to refinance, strike a deal with their lender, or even sell the property for a profit rather than foreclosure.
“At this point, with the current market situation, if you think you can afford it, then now is the time to sell because prices are as high as they have been for some time and they cannot go higher. that so long,” says Grant. “It’s not going to crash like 2008 or 2009, but prices will have to start coming down at some point. I don’t know if we’re at a peak, but we’ll know a lot more in the summer when some of between them these input processes are finalized.”
Grant said the average foreclosure process takes between four and six months to go through the court system, so that’s likely when a change in the foreclosure rate statistics would occur if it were to go up. .
Emma Kennedy can be reached at [email protected] or 850-480-6979.