Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
In this series, real estate and mortgage expert Steve Cook takes a look at housing market predictions for falling home values: the causes, the effects, why home prices are still falling, and what needs to happen to see home values improve.
“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get,” said the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. He’s not the only one who feels that way. Millions of homeowners must feel like they are in Wonderland when they check their homes’ value, which rises and falls from one month to the next for no rhyme or reason.
Today’s national average for home prices is more or less at the same place it was two years ago. At that time, all the experts were saying the recovery was in sight. Healthier home values awaited only an end to the foreclosure mess.
Well, today there actually is an end in sight to the foreclosure mess, but relief is still in the distant future. For nearly two years, the number of homes going into default has slowly declined, though you wouldn’t know it from the “bank owned” for sale signs that still decorate neighborhoods.
There is still an extensive inventory of foreclosures for sale and the shadow inventory, though 22 percent smaller than it used to be, is still huge. A primary reason for the glut is that lenders are processing foreclosures at a snail’s pace to protect them from liability resulting from practices like those that caused the Robogate debacle.
As a result, it takes 20 months to process foreclosures, which extends the pain of the depressive effect they have on local home values. However, if current trends continue, at some point in the future even the pokiest lender will deplete its REO inventory and the Foreclosure Era will quietly come to an end and never return. Since stricter standards were enacted after 2006, mortgages underwritten after that time should result in many fewer defaults.
However, instead of breaking out the bubbly, the experts are more pessimistic than ever. To wit:
So what’s wrong with this picture? Home prices are at a generational low. Mortgage rates lately hit an all-time record low. Every local market is full of bargains galore. Why aren’t people buying houses?
Come back to the blog tomorrow when we will look at the forces in the economy preventing people from buying houses.
Steve Cook is Executive Vice President of Reecon Advisors and covers government and industry news for the Reecon Advisory Report.
Cook is a member of the National Press Club, the Public Relations Society of America and the National Association of Real Estate Editors, where he served as second vice president. Twice he has been named one of the 100 most influential people in real estate. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where he was editor of the student newspaper. In addition to serving as managing editor of the Report, Cook provides public relations consulting services to real estate and financial services companies, and trade associations, including some of the leading companies in online residential real estate.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.