Housing research firm CoreLogic says the foreclosure rate in the Nashville area dipped to 0.69 percent in January from 0.77 percent at the end of 2013.
It's the first time foreclosures have been that low since the last days of 2008, when the recession was really beginning to sink its teeth into homeowners' finances. The rate peaked at 1.99 percent in January 2011 and stood at 1.14 percent at the beginning of 2013.
CoreLogic says the 90-day delinquency rate among local homeowners, which peaked in early 2010 at about 6 percent, retreated to 3.52 percent in January, versus 3.60 percent in December and 4.49 percent the year before. The Nashville rate is now 109 basis points lower than Tennessee's and 141 points below that of the national average.
If you're concerned about the Middle Tennessee housing market running out of gas — February home sales were up only 4 percent year over year, after all — the researchers at Freddie Mac have a clear message: Not by a long shot.
The mortgage capital giant on Wednesday unveiled MiMi, its new Multi-Indicator Market Index that incorporates local data with proprietary numbers for a range of markets around the country. The metric places national, state and local housing activity on a scale relative to its healthy range, and its first data sets were for January.
"MiMi is the right housing index at the right time as we once again transition to a purchase-dominated housing market," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. "With recent history demonstrating that housing activity differs substantially from market to market, MiMi offers a fresh perspective on housing at the local level just as we are entering this new purchase market landscape. MiMi helps to pinpoint each market's 'sweet spot' by focusing on local housing differences while also tracking the fundamentals necessary for a stable market."
Based on recent trends and as of early this year, Nashville was still a year away from getting to that range.
But we were among the top markets in the country. It's also worth noting that, of the cities above us, only top-rated San Antonio improved more in January than Nashville. And no market in the top 15 moved faster forward from November through January.
A number of real estate research firms have forecast in recent months that Nashville homeowners will see their home values rise very little in 2014 after a couple of very profitable years. But January's numbers don't show those predictions coming true just yet: CoreLogic says area home prices were up 11.1 percent year over year in January — up from 7.9 percent in December — even when distressed properties were included. Take out those homes and the price gains ticked up to 11.3 percent.
SEE ALSO: CoreLogic's national data
Negative equity in Nashville fell in the fourth quarter to 15.2 percent from 16.7 percent at the end of September, according to research firm Zillow. That's pretty good on a number of levels: It puts the city's MSA more than four points ahead of the U.S. average and it's more than a point below where Zillow's researchers thought we'd be by this fall. (The company now sees the negative equity rate falling to 14.4 percent by the end of 2014.)
Those headline numbers look good, but many homeowners in our 10-county area are still dealing with some real pain. Of those still underwater, almost 29 percent owe at least 40 percent more than their homes are worth.
The 90-day delinquency rate among Nashville-area homeowners finished 2013 at 3.59 percent versus 4.54 percent in 2012 and 5.59 percent at the end of 2011, says research firm CoreLogic. The 2013 decline for Middle Tennessee was steeper than that of Tennessee as a whole but slower than the country's improvement — although the U.S. rate ended the year just above 5 percent.
The region's foreclosure rate also dropped further last year, though more slowly than in 2012. It ended 2013 at 0.77 percent versus 1.14 percent and 1.76 percent at the end of 2012 and 2011, respectively.
Lastly, here's CoreLogic's latest map depicting the health of the region's ZIP codes.
Nashville-based home builder The Jones Company has named Jen Lucy director of sales. Lucy will oversee day-to-day operations of the sales department, as well as train sales managers and associates.
Previously, Lucy was a sales manager for Beazer Homes. She has also spent time as a sales consultant at Fox Ridge Homes, Centex Homes and Pulte Homes; as the HOA director for Pulte Homes; and as a mortgage consultant for Evergreen Mortgage. She has expertise in new home sales, sales training, sales operations, marketing, and performance management.
Lucy earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from Tennessee Technological University.
The improvement in Nashville-area home prices continued in December, says research firm CoreLogic: Year over year, prices were up 7.9 percent when including distressed sales and 8.9 percent without them. That's down a bit from November's gains but only a few points behind some of the best state numbers around the country. The gains also are still solidly above the meager increases CoreLogic and other firms are forecasting we'll get in 2014.
On the bright side, this forecast is not as downbeat as that of Zillow...
Housing market research firm CoreLogic is forecasting that Nashville-area home prices will rise just 2 percent this year. That's the lowest number among major cities and less than half the expected national price gain. Here's CoreLogic's release and below is how the firm expects many other cities to perform.
Zillow has compiled its final 2013 numbers for the nation's housing markets and says the average Nashville-area home value rose 5.5 percent. That's a percentage point below the national average, a gap Zillow's researchers say will grow going forward: They expect local home values to rise just 0.9 percent this year, while the national number is projected to increase 4.8 percent.
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