So I just wrote how banks have found a loophole in the national mortgage settlement — one that lets them continue foreclosures while getting credit with the government for making modifications. (“Loophole in mortgage settlement means lenders continue foreclosures.”)
The problem of that, I explained, was not just their violating the spirit of the agreement, but that it would keep more foreclosures on the market and property values down.
Countering my argument, in part, is FNC’s February, 2013 Foreclosure Market Report.
Before the housing crisis, you see, a foreclosed home typically sold for about 12 or 13 percent below a similar ‘traditional’ sale. But the market collapse pushed prices down, and foreclosures were going for 25 percent below market value. Ick — and a good way to hurt an entire neighborhood.
That’s why, when lenders continue to foreclose, it’s bad for the market in general, as it pushes valued down. If people can stay in their homes, everyone wins.
But now foreclosure prices are back to what they were pre-crisis: about 12.2 percent below market value. That means that, while it’s still better for people not to lose their homes, the impact of foreclosures isn’t nearly as big as it was a few years ago.