We still don't have a much clearer idea of what the post-recession "normal" mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates for Middle Tennessee will be. The latest data from CoreLogic shows that those numbers dipped in October to 3.65 percent and 0.78 percent, respectively. Those are down 97 and 47 basis points, respectively, from a year ago, a pace that's been remarkably consistent over the past year. (In October 2012, the year-over-year drops were 86 and 67 basis points.)
Looking at an area map, CoreLogic's data reveal that the Interstate 24 corridor and parts of Sumner County continue to gradually improve the way other parts of the region have done before them.
The homes in the Nashville area are on track to finish 2013 with a total worth of $121 billion, says research firm Zillow.com. That's up $7 billion, or more than 6 percent, from last year — a gain that eclipses those of a number of larger cities such as St. Louis, Pittsburgh and San Antonio.
Here's Zillow's rundown for most of the nation's largest markets:
The economic recovery and Nashville's ascent to It City status have brought with them numerous side-effects. In this week's Scene cover, Bobby Allyn takes a look at piecemeal residential redevelopments, which many area residents aren't at all thrilled to see. The value of teardowns has more than doubled in recent years, he writes, as builders have begun taking advantage of rising land values in many of the city's most popular neighborhoods. That is prompting talk of tightening building and zoning regulations that would preserve some of the character of specific districts and — fingers crossed — lead to more balanced development.
Many advocates point to inclusionary zoning as part of the solution. It's a zoning model that makes developers devote a percentage of new housing units to low-income residents. Developers, in turn, usually receive incentives like looser density limits and other relaxed zoning requirements. In Montgomery County, Md., just north of Washington, D.C., for example, up to 15 percent of new housing has to be affordable. The requirement has spawned around 11,000 affordable units over several decades.
The housing market in Tennessee continues to improve, says David Penn of MTSU's Business and Economic Research Center, but not as quickly as it has in recent quarters. One bright spot is that the number of distressed properties continues to trickle downward. Case in point: The number of foreclosure starts around the state in the third quarter was the lowest in seven years.
Looking for home price appreciation in the coming year? The researchers at Zillow.com say you need to look beyond the Nashville MSA: Only in La Vergne, Thompson's Station and White House do they see home values rising more than 1 percent. That's a big change from this year, when nine area cities posted average price increases of 7 percent or more.
Zillow's data also shows that only in Brentwood and Franklin are less than 10 percent of homeowners with a mortgage still underwater. Along those lines below is, courtesy of fellow research firm CoreLogic, the chart showing how delinquencies and foreclosures have trended down in the past 18 months.
Louisiana-Pacific and its acquisition target Ainsworth Lumber have been asked by federal officials for more information about their planned deal. The Department of Justice is looking into the antitrust aspects of the $1.1 billion transaction, which is expected to close early next year.
Real estate online listings service Zillow says Nashville-area homes on its site sold in an average 85 days in September. That's an improvement of 26 days from a year earlier. That's in line with the national numbers, which were 86 this year and 116 in 2012. Almost all the region's largest counties posted similar numbers, although Wilson is a definitely outlier.
Bill McConnell at TheStreet.com writes about the apparent greater likelihood that Louisiana-Pacific will be asked by the Federal Trade Commission to divest some of the manufacturing capacity it will have after it buys Canadian rival Ainsworth. It will likely come down to how the FTC's staff looks at the proposed combination's effects on Western Canadian production.
A key factor in the antitrust review is how broadly the regulators view the affected market. A broader view that geographically includes all of North America and includes both plywood and oriented strandboard (OSB) would make an extended review unlikely. If the DOJ limits the market to a smaller geographic area like the U.S. Pacific Northwest and considers the merger's impact only on OSB, then the likelihood of a long review and divestitures rises substantially.
SEE ALSO: LP buying Canadian competitor for $1.1B