Speaking of charts: Floyd Norris’ always interesting Off the Charts column this week looks at foreclosures:
"Mortgage foreclosure notices are going out so fast that in some states the number of new foreclosure proceedings each month is greater than the number of homes sold that month. The foreclosure problem appears to be greatest in the West, particularly in Nevada, where home prices soared in the housing boom and are now falling rapidly…
During January, it was reported this week by RealtyTrac, there were 153,745 initial foreclosure notices sent out in the United States. That dwarfed the 43,000 total sales of newly built single-family homes and amounted to nearly half the total sales figure, which includes sales of existing homes and condominiums.
In the West, however, the picture was much worse. There the number of sales was barely higher than the number of foreclosure notices. It appears that in the most heavily affected states the sales totals lagged behind the number of foreclosure notices.
Moreover, the volume of foreclosures is especially high in some states. In California, RealtyTrac reports, nearly a quarter-million properties were subject to some legal action related to foreclosure in 2007. Not all those foreclosures were completed, of course, either because the process dragged into this year or because the homeowner managed to sell the house or come up with money to make the missed payments. But those foreclosure moves affected 1.9 percent of the living units in the state — or 1 in 52 homes.
California led the country in number of properties affected by foreclosure moves, but was only fourth in terms of the percentage of homes affected. Nevada led in that dubious category, with 3.4 percent — or 1 in 30 — of the housing units affected. It was followed by Michigan, which missed out on the housing boom but is playing a large role in the bust, and by Florida, which like Nevada experienced a wave of speculative building amid rapidly rising prices."
Wow. Those are some pretty serious numbers. And check out the chart porn, via the NYT:
click for larger chart
courtesy of NYT
In Parts of U.S., Foreclosures Top Sales
NYT, March 1, 2008