Foreclosure filings up in October
U.S. foreclosure filings increased 5 percent from September to 279,561 properties this month — one in every 452 households. That is up 25 percent from October 2007, according to research firm RealtyTrac.
“We’ve seen sharp declines in new foreclosure filings after legislation mandating delays to the foreclosure process was signed into law in several states — most notably in California, where overall foreclosure activity was down by double-digit percentage points for the second straight month in October,” said James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac. “Despite this, October marks the 34th consecutive month where U.S. foreclosure activity has increased compared to the prior year.”
Nevada reported the highest state foreclosure rate for the 22nd consecutive month in October. Foreclosure filings in Nevada stood at 14,483 properties this month, up 11 percent from the previous month.
Arizona posted the second highest state foreclosure rate, with 17,507 filings, up nearly 35 percent from September.
Florida registered the third highest state foreclosure rate, with 54,324 filings, an increase of 13 percent from the previous month.
Other states among the top 10 were California, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and Ohio.
Remodeling Market Index down in Q3
The residential remodeling market continued to decline during the third quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI). The market conditions indicator stands at 33.5, down from 41.8 in the last quarter. Future expectations of remodeling work also declined to 27.7, from 38.0 in the second quarter. Both are at historic lows since the start of the RMI in 2001.
The RMI measures remodeler perceptions of market demand for current and future residential remodeling projects. A number over 50 indicates that the majority of remodelers view market conditions as improving. The RMI has been below 50 since the last quarter of 2005.
The remodeling market is tightening because more home builders are taking on remodeling work, which creates a more competitive marketplace.
“Remodelers reported another drop in major home improvements, and expectations for future work have also declined,” said NAHB Remodelers chairman Lonny Rutherford, a remodeler from Farmington, N.M. “A slight increase in minor remodeling projects for owner-occupied homes suggests customers are cutting back on home improvement spending.”
“The remodeling market declines follow the pattern of the home building slow down to a lesser degree,” added NAHB chief economist David Seiders.
In the South, the RMI dropped to 31.5, from 40.1 in the second quarter; the Midwest to 36.2, from 52.9; and the West to 36.1, from 42.4. The Northeast increased slightly to 32.9, from 32.8; and the Midwest increased to 52.9, from 44.1.
The special questions section asked remodelers about energy-efficient products, which found more customer calls to improve home energy efficiency since the question was asked in the third quarter of 2006 (up to 26 percent from 24 percent). Low-energy windows are the top customer request, 50 percent of remodelers installed water-saving faucets and fixtures (up from 36 percent), and 38 percent installed on-demand water heaters (up from 29 percent).
Do it Best vendors contribute to Habitat for Humanity
More than 100 vendors that exhibited at the Do it Best October Market in Indianapolis donated a combined $170,940 in cash and new or like-new merchandise to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan, the Fort-Wayne, Ind.-based co-op announced.
Much of the donated merchandise — including windows, doors, flooring, patio furniture, lights, retail fixtures and more — helps stock Habitat for Humanity ReStores, which sell quality products to the general public and funnel profits into future projects.
“Each time the Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County ReStores are able to participate in the Do it Best market, we are in awe of the enormous generosity of Do it Best Corp. and the participating vendors,” said Vivian Bolen, ReStore manager in St. Joseph County, Ind. “This is the one chance we get to have new items in our ReStores, and those items are important to us in sustaining our customers so they keep coming in.”
“We are now in our third year as a ReStore, and without the support that Do it Best Corp. and their vendors provide with the fantastic donations, we would have a much harder time making it work for Habitat for Humanity-Clinton County, Ohio,” said Bob Schaad, treasurer for the Clinton County, Ohio, organization. “Over the years, the donations have given our Habitat at least $25,000 in additional income, which represents about half of a house.”
In 2004, Do it Best named Habitat for Humanity its corporate cause of choice and partners with Habitat throughout the year. Since initiating this affiliation, Do it Best members and vendors have donated $1.8 million to Habitat for Humanity.