CoreLogic's latest data on distressed residential real estate in the Nashville area shows little change from December's numbers. That's a positive change from the past two post-recession turns of the calendar: In the first months of 2010 and 2011, the 90-day mortgage delinquency rate jumped 16 and 17 basis points, respectively. Likewise, the foreclosure rate jumped 8 and 7 basis points in those years.
Home builders around the country in February filed for the highest number of permits since the fall of 2008, a sign that the construction sector could add meaningfully to economic growth this year. But you also have to wonder if, as with retail sales, some activity is being pulled forward because of the very mild winter.
After climbing slowly but steadily from last spring through October, the foreclosure rate in the Nashville MSA fell noticeably in late 2011, says research firm CoreLogic. December's number was 1.74 percent, which was 16 basis points below October's and 15 points lower than that of the year before.
SEE ALSO: December's foreclosures by ZIP code
The post-Great Recession recovery of First Horizon National has been one of the quieter stories of the regional banking sector. But in an update to its investor presentation, the parent of First Tennessee Bank details its steady progress on a number of fronts — even if the stock (Ticker FHN) hasn't yet reflected those improvements. One of the cleanest up-up-and-away charts in the deck? The one that shows First Horizon's book with mortgage lenders more than tripling last year.
Nashville-area home prices were among the country's worst performers in the fourth quarter, according to research firm Clear Capital. Sellers in Middle Tennessee had to settle for prices that were 3 percent lower than they had been in the summer. That wasn't as bad as other regional markets such as Memphis and Atlanta, but well off the positive pace being set by tops-in-the-nation Birmingham.
Remember the days — they're not that long ago, really — when the word Countrywide was almost synonymous with the mortgage market? Things are much, much different in 2012, says analyst Paul Miller at FBR Capital Markets. Whereas Countrywide accounted for 25 percent of mortgage originations in the spring of 2007, Wells Fargo now owns 30 percent of the market. Bank of America, the burned buyer of Countrywide? It fell below 6 percent in the fourth quarter.