In Savannah, Georgia, 11 community banks hold about $97.5 million in repossessed real estate, and they are keeping local real estate agents who specialize in foreclosure pretty busy. However, while you would probably expect this article to be about how that market is just barely pulling through, in reality the statistics on these REO properties are quite surprising. Contrary to the media blitz that tells us that once a property actually goes through the foreclosure process is disappears into the slag of the foreclosure tsunami to drag down the housing market forever, some of the numbers are not so bad. For example, most of these properties are remaining on the market – from listing to closing – for an average of around 100 days. Additionally, 15 percent of the sales are cash sales and another 5 percent were financed through alternative methods of financing. Landlords and wholesalers are active in the area.
Local Realtors report that investor-targeted properties get action quickly, with two to three offers coming in fairly fast in these instances.
It seems to me that scenarios and statistics like this simply further the argument that the real estate market must be left alone and allowed to tank, if necessary, in order for it to ever recover. However, in his town hall meeting yesterday, the President stated that this economic strategy made the people living in those foreclosed homes “just numbers.” Given the new prevalence of flexible financing and the move in the rental market to make homes available for lease-purchase or long-term, productive rental, do you think that letting the real estate market heal is too heartless to bear?
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