Featured News 2012 Home Prices Drop Lower in Major Cities

Home Prices Drop Lower in Major Cities

According to a report on the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, home prices are at their lowest since November 2002. 20 major cities have reported a decline of 3.5 percent since last year. In Atlanta, New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Charlotte, homes are at "bubble lows," reports an S&P spokesman. One analyst for HIS Global Insight told CNN that the housing prices are getting lower and lower because of the increased amount of foreclosures and other distressed property sales. People are losing possession of their homes all the time, or selling them as fast as possible to get out of situations where they can't pay their mortgage.

In a new report, real estate professionals specified that there are about 6 million American homeowners who are late on their mortgage payments. These people eventually give in and are forced into foreclosure. The homes sell for a lot less than they used to, and most often there's not a lot of people even willing to purchase the home. Everyone is struggling in the economic downturn and for many people it is easier to rent an apartment then try to finance a home.

Yet there's an upside to this story. Analysts predict that some of the 20 poorest cities might be about to pull out of their plummets. Some families are seeing a bright side to the darkness of foreclosure. For example, one family in Sacramento, California was able to keep their home from foreclosure as a result of a $26 billion national mortgage settlement. Their mortgage lender, Bank of America, called off the auction that would have been the end of this family's home, and offered to slash their mortgage by more than $85,000. Their interest rate, which was originally at 6.7 percent, would be brought down to 4.6 percent. By making the mortgage much more affordable, the family of five was able to remain in their home. Their mortgage is now $570 cheaper than it was.

This Sacramento family is only one of the many home owning families that may be rescued from foreclosure in the near future. The five largest mortgage lenders in the nation struck a deal saying that they would slash about one million mortgages by as much as $100,000. Recently, Bank of America located about 200,000 people who qualified for these generous principal reductions. The bank says that they will start reaching out to these lucky families within the next six months. Most of these beneficiaries are under a tight reign. If they make one late payment on their new reduced mortgage, then their homes will go back on the auction block. Still, mortgage companies hope that this generous new approach will keep people from foreclosing their homes, which will help housing prices to come back up in the cities that need it the most.

According to Mission Capital Advisors, some companies are starting to see a slight rise in home prices. These are many of the cities who took the worst hits in the past five to six years. In Phoenix, Arizona, the housing prices climbed 3.3 percent from last year, and Miami gained 0.8 percent in the past 12 months. In Las Vegas at present, the housing drop is at 8.5 percent year-over-year. Prior to 2012, their housing market was settling with a drop at 9 percent. Unfortunately, not all cities are lucky. In Atlanta, the housing market fell further into poverty with a 17.3 percent drop. This was the steepest decline listed in the new housing price reports. The president of the Georgia Association of Realtors told CNN that Atlanta is still working on clearing out a lot of foreclosure. They also have a lot of short-sale inventory to deal with. In the future, real estate agents and mortgage companies hope to see less foreclosures and higher housing prices all throughout America.

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