New estimate: One of every 83 Minnesota homes in foreclosure process

Two new interesting chunks on Minnesota’s housing market. Together they indicate things are improving — slowly — but that the problems are nowhere near an end.

Twin Cities home prices uptick. Housing values in the Twin Cities remain among the hardest hit of the 20 cities tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. But data released today showed a marked improvement from April to May.

Nationally, the survey noted, “The pace of descent in home price values appears to be slowing.” Still, prices are still down about 17 percent on average across all metro areas from the prior year with the Twin Cities down nearly 22 percent.

1 of 83 Minnesota homes in foreclosure process. I was startled to read that today on the blog of the non-profit Minnesota Home Ownership Center (via HousingLink). That amounts to only about 1.2 percent of the state housing stock. It’s a reminder, though, that there are still lots of problems in the pipeline.

Data show a big jump in pre-foreclosure notices last month in Minnesota.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said Ed Nelson, a source in our Public Insight Network who works for the Minnesota Home Ownership Center. He said today:

In Minnesota… we still have not yet seen the full effect of the economic downturn (as foreclosure lags unemployment/underemployment), nor have we seen all of the foreclosures that will be caused by the ALT-A recasts and the remaining Prime/ALT-A resets that will still happen.

(Alt-A mortgages are loans riskier than “prime” but less risky than sub-prime. “Reset” involves an interest rate change; “recast” is a change in the payment schedule. My colleague Tim Nelson did a story earlier this year that explains this coming, bad second wave. Read it here.)

Couple of caveats. There’s no data before 2009 tracking foreclosure notices, Nelson added. He also notes the “1 of every 83” ratio is not “set in stone.”

We believe that the vast majority of the lenders/servicers (through their attorneys, most of the time) do forward their pre-foreclosure notices on to a member of the Center’s network — the law only requires they send the notices to a HUD-approved counseling agency. There are a few agencies that are NOT a part of the Center’s network. In addition… we have NO WAY of knowing if all lenders/servicers are complying. So we can only report on the numbers we receive.

In any case, Nelson said the number of pre-foreclosure notices will probably rise through 2009 and into 2010.


Check out the map below to read what people in our network are telling us about housing markets in Minnesota. Then tell us what you’re seeing.

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