Posts Tagged ‘ foreclosure ’

Boise Real Estate Sales Slump in March-Say What???

Did you hear that thump? That was the sound of my head hitting the keyboard on my computer as I finished reading yet another Statesman article filled with misleading headlines and misinformation within. On Thursday, the Statesman had a front-page headline “Valley home sales slump in March”.  This is the kind of headline that makes my head spin!

What the newspaper was trying to show as a slump was to compare March 2010 to March 2011 in ADA County. Well that is another “duh” moment, since this time last year there was an $8K home buyer credit in play. But even comparing 2010 to 2011 the numbers are not that far apart with 601 properties closed in 2010 and 537 closed in 2011. But if we look at the first three months of 2011 we will see the continued upswing of homes sold: January-381, February-393, and March-537. Does that look like a sales slump to you?

Now if the Statesman had written that the median sales prices had dropped in March 2011 that would have been an accurate statement. Although, the prices are still on a rollercoaster and are down one month and up the next, only to come back down the next month. (January median sales price-$135.5k, February-$145.7k, and March-$135k).

The real estate market both in ADA and Canyon County are slowly but surely recovering. The median sales prices (sold) will continue to go up and down until the majority of distressed properties have moved out of the market. In the meantime, the good news is that homes are selling and they are starting to sell quickly (particularly in the $250K and under price range). I look forward to seeing what our totals will be for the month of April because so far they are looking very good. I will be posting those results during the first week of May.

If you would like additional information regarding the  Boise real estate market or the Canyon County area, please go to my web site (no sign up required):

article referenced: “Valley Home Sales Slump in March”- Idaho Statesman, April 21,2011, written by Joe Estrella

Nampa Idaho Real Estate Statistics for March 2011

The other day we looked at Caldwell real estate stats, now we will look at the other large area of Canyon County- Nampa. This particular area is similar to Caldwell in that it has a mix of old and new homes, as well as homes on acreage. Nampa is located next to Meridian and about 30 minutes west(outside of rush hour) from Boise. The statistics are for single family/single family with acreage.

Available Homes

# Available: 746

#Vacant: 390

# Short Sale: 310

# Bank Owned: 106

Median Asking Price: $104,900

56% of the homes for sale are distressed with the largest percentage being short sales.  The good news is that the short sales are not necessarily what brings the prices down but the bank owned properties. Hopefully many of these short sales will close before they become foreclosed on. That is when the banks usually get them back (not too many who show up at the auctions are wanting to pay what is owed on the property to clear the debt, so the property defaults back to the lender). The bank then prices the properties well below market which is what has been dragging the prices down.


Pending Sales

# Pending: 200

Median Asking Price: $84,450

There is a big difference in the current active list prices versus the pending list price so it will be interesting to see if April pending sales prices inch up a bit.


Closed Sales 2010

# Closed: 148

# Short Sales: 22

# Bank Owned: 87

Median Sales Price: $97,900

Median Days on Market: 46

Closed Sales 2011

# Closed: 182

# Short Sales: 36

# Bank Owned: 104

Median Sales Price: $80,000

Median Days on Market: 55

We can see that the median sales price has dropped over $17k compared to last March but 34 more houses sold in March 2011. But the price drop should come as no surprise since 77% of the homes that sold in March were distressed with the bulk being bank owned properties.  This is a huge percentage and the Nampa real estate market can not begin to correct itself until this percentage drops to less than 20%.  This could still be another  two years out!

If you would like more information regarding the Nampa real estate market or are thinking of buying (very good time to do so) or selling, please go to my website for more information (no sign up required):

Shadow Inventory in the Boise Real Estate Market

In today’s local newspaper they did their usual hype style headline, “Shadow Inventory could still  Haunt Treasure Valley Market”. It seems at least once a week, the local paper and national  news media feel the need to run a negative real estate story. This particular story on Shadow Inventory has been run before and it seems not that long ago.

So what is “Shadow Inventory”? These are the homes that have been foreclosed on and have not as of yet been put on the real estate market. Generally speaking these homes are owned by the lenders who have first lien position (usually the original loan).

The way the news stories are written one would think that the banks are just waiting for an orchestrated time to dump all the homes onto the market. Does that seem to make any sense? No, and banks are not in the business to lose money. If they were to put all the homes that they have  in their inventory on the market at the same time they would crash the market, forcing prices to go even lower.

Most banks are losing money as it is with homes being sold at record lows, so homes must be put onto the real estate market in a timely fashion. When they sell one, they put another one on. It is really that simple. The lending industry may have had a big hand in screwing up the housing market but they actually do understand (let’s hope so anyway) supply and demand.

And demand is getting higher as the inventory shrinks and prices have leveled off ,and in some cases has increased. I know I am not the only realtor who seems to feel that there is a certain urgency that has entered the market. I have shown several homes recently and have encountered another realtor trying to come in the door right behind me. That has not happened in several years and I will discuss that in tomorrow’s post.

If you would like to see what the current inventory in the Boise real estate market looks like right now, please go to my website (no sign up required):

Real Estate Statistics for Meridian, Idaho-February 2011

Today’s post we will look at the February 2011 numbers for Real Estate in Meridian, Idaho. These numbers will cover active listings, pending, and sold with my commentary following each grouping.  Please note that the numbers are based on MLS data for single family and single family w/ acreage.

Available Homes

# Available: 688 (as of 3/5/2011)

# Vacant: 399

# Short sales: 223

# Bank Owned: 57

Median Asking Price; $167K

Number of homes on the market is down from January’s 606 and the median asking price went up very slightly from January’s $165K.

Pending Sales:

# Pending: 170

Median Asking Price: $156K

Pendings are up from January’s 152 and the median price dropped from $162,400.

Closed Sales:

# Closed: 105

# Short Sale: 27

# Bank Owned: 35

# of Days on Market: 73

Median Sold Price: $154,875

February closed sales for Meridian actually looks pretty good considering this was a shorter month. Closed sales were up from January’s 97 and the Median Sold Price was almost identical ($155K in January).  59% of the homes sold were distressed which is still way too high. Although the good news is that we are getting those properties moved through the system.

I wanted to point out that I have removed average sales prices.  They just do not reflect prices because we have too much swing in the high and low ends, making the median prices more reliable. I also have started adding in the number of distressed properties (short sale and bank owned) for the available and sold homes. This is because just listing the vacant homes does not give a full picture of what is going on. Not all vacant homes are distressed and not all occupied homes are okay. I have also added Median Days on Market because that is also an important number to watch. This helps homeowners to get a better perspective of how long it may take to move their home if it is reasonably priced. 

Tomorrow I will give the ADA county statistics which will have all of the Boise Real Estate Market as well as Meridian and Eagle. If you would like to see more statistics for the Boise Idaho area please see my posts under the Boise Real Estate Statistics category or go to my website (no sign in required);

Real Estate Statistics for Eagle, ID -February 2011

The February 2011 Real Estate Statistics for Eagle, ID  are listed below. I will add commentary for each grouping (active, sold, and closed sales). Please note that these numbers are for Single family and Single Family with acreage ending 2/28/2011.

Available Homes:

# Available: 233

# Vacant: 102

#Short Sales: 68

# Bank Owned: 14

Median Asking Price: $344K

The number of available homes is up slightly from January’s 194. The Median Asking Price has dropped a little bit from January’s $352,300

Pending Sales

# Pending: 46

Median Asking Price: $394,500

Pendings are down slightly from January’s 57 and the Median Asking Price is up from $348K

Closed Sales

# Closed: 28

Median Sold Price: $234,750

Median Days On Market: 64

The number of closed is up from January’s 21 but the Median Price has dropped drastically from $393K. My best guess is that a few more distressed properties have moved through the system and the fact that February was a shorter month.  I will be watching March’s numbers carefully to see if this trend continues. I would find that hard to believe since the Pending Median Price is up.

Tomorrow I will post Meridians February numbers and see how that part of town has faired!  If you would like additional Statistics for the Boise Real Estate Market please see my posts under “Boise Real Estate Statistics” or go to my website (no sign up required):

Foreclosures Tripled in Idaho since 2008-Really?!

I love when my local newspaper gives me something to write about! The Idaho Statesman so consistently gives half a story I wonder how they get away printing them as news.

If you happened to catch the article about Foreclosure sales having tripled in Idaho, let me give you the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say.

This article compares foreclosed property sales (bank owned)  in 2008 with 2010 in Idaho. Well, duh, there was an increase in foreclosed properties!  Let me show you the numbers to better illustrate the “duh” moment:

2008 ADA County

Total Sold: 5359

Short Sale: 253

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 0


2009 ADA County

Total Sold: 5752

Short Sale: 852

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 1205


2010 ADA County

Total Sold: 6254

Short Sale: 1066

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 1866

Observe the Foreclosed number in 2008(and no, I was not making an emoticon face there!).  That’s right! It was zero! This is not a shocker because short sales were just getting started with the housing market decline that did not officially start until late 2007. Therefore foreclosed properties would not start for another 6 months at least. So to compare 2008 to 2010, the article might as well have compared 2003 with 2010 and they would have had the same outcome.

But look carefully at all the sold numbers, because this is the good news. In 2008, 5359 homes sold and in 2010, 6254 homes sold. That is a pretty significant increase. So how come the article did not highlight this aspect? 

But here are some even more interesting numbers to me that give me hope that the market truly is turning around:

January 2008- ADA County

Total Sold: 324

Short Sale: 44

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 0


January 2009 – ADA County

Total Sold: 245

Short Sale : 30

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 14


January 2010 – ADA County

Total Sold: 305

Short Sale: 60

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 101


January 2011 – ADA County

Total Sold: 381

Short Sale: 69

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 150

Look carefully at the Sold numbers.  January 2011 had 381 solds while January 2008 had 324.  Yes, more than half of the homes sold in January 2010 and 2011 are distressed properties but these two years reflect the mortgage and housing collapse of 2008.

Two sold numbers that I find promising are the total in 2010 and the January 2011.  We have increased sales and a shrinking inventory which will help lead us back to a healthy balance in the real estate market.

One more item in the article that always makes me crazy is the talk of “shadow inventory” that has not been put on the market yet. This is fear mongering plain and simple. This “shadow inventory being dumped on the market” theory has been around for a few years now.

 Two things about this theory: One, the banks are not going to dump all their inventory at one time. They are already discounting their properties well below market value so to dump them all at once would further devalue their properties. Two, you can consider all homes that are not on the market as shadow inventory. My house, your house and anyone else who has not put their house up for sale are technically “shadow inventory”!

Please note that these statistics are based on Single family and Single family with acreage in ADA County from the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service.

If you would like additional statistics for the Boise Real Estate market area please go to my website:

Article referenced: Foreclosure sales in Idaho have tripled since 2008; Joe Estrella; Idaho 2/24/2011

January Statistics Boise -2010 vs. 2011


Today on there was the typical media two paragraph snapshot of the January real estate market in ADA and Canyon counties for this year and last year with no commentary or insight.

I realize they get better viewing if the news is negative but a further explanation would have been helpful to viewers who may not completely understand what is going on in the local Boise real estate market. So let me share some numbers with you:

January 2011- 381 homes sold – median price $135.5k

January 2010- 305 homes sold- median price $168k

Now to look at these numbers you would say “wow, that is huge drop”. What you are not seeing is that in 2011 of those 381 homes, 69 were short sales and 150 were Bank Owned (total distressed was 219)  In 2010 of those 305 homes that sold, 60 were short sale and 101 were Bank Owned (total distressed 161). With more bank owned properties closing it is not surprising that the sales price numbers would be lower. Bank Owned are notoriously known for being well under market value.

More homes sold in January 2011 than in January 2010. Keep in mind that the January 2010 closings had the buyers credit incentive in place from the previous months. In January of 2011 there was no incentive.

January 2011 median Days on Market was 47 days while January 2010 the DOM was 62 days. 

What you also do not see is that home prices for the past few months has not really moved much. In October it was $146K, November, $150K, December, $148K. Yes, January numbers  are lower but we will have to see how February turns out to determine if we are on another downward trend.  But I doubt it and here is why:

Inventory is at its lowest that it has been in several years.  (January 2011 had 2,283 homes available and January of 2010  had 2,991) I know from personal experience that this time last year when looking for a home for a buyer I could find 30 properties within their criteria, now looking for that same buyer I may find 10 homes. Price is always dictated by supply versus demand. As the supply continues to drop, the demand will go up and so too will the prices.

I am not trying to cheerlead that the housing crisis is over. We still have quite a bit of distress properties to move but overall, I have to say we have a lot less of them. It is not all doom and gloom, it is just too bad that the media does a poor job of explaining it.

If you have any questions or comments please fee free to contact me:


Foreclosure -basics

Yesterday I wrote about Short Sale basics, today will be about Foreclosures.

A foreclosure is the legal process for the termination of a loan and the securing of the property by the bank and or other lenders.

This will not happen unless you miss a payment or stop paying all together. In pre-foreclosure there are certain “work-out” steps that can be taken to avoid foreclosure. One is a loan modification where the lender will rework part or all of the loan by either lowering monthly payments and extending the loan out another 10 years, or depending on the type of loan another arrangement may be worked out. Another way is forbearance (similar if not the same as a loan mod.) where there is postponement of payments or reduced payments for a period of time. In rare cases there is bailout loan but 65% loan to value is needed. There is also the short sale, which we discussed in yesterday’s post.

If none of the above can be worked out the foreclosure process is started with a letter of acceleration with the request that loan be made current. If no payments or attempts to correct are made within 60 days than a notice to accelerate is sent, whereby all past due payments plus late fees must be paid.

If still not response than a Demand Letter is sent and is usually from the lenders lawyer formally notifying you that the foreclosure process is now going through the courts.

If after the Demand Letter you have not paid up the lender then files foreclosure notice with the court. You have 20-30 days to respond. A public notice of default is then put in the paper once a week for three weeks stating that the property is in default and lists the amount owed and the sale date/place/time. A notice is also posted on the house (front door/window).

If property is not sold beforehand or loan is not brought current it is auctioned off at a Sheriffs Sale. If the property does not sell at the auction then it goes back to the lender. It is then put on the market for sale as a bank owned property otherwise known as an REO.  And that will be tomorrow’s topic!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post or e-mail me: or

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