Foreclosures drop 17% in October
Approximately 58,000 completed foreclosures occurred in the United States in October 2012, a 17% decline from the 70,000 foreclosures in October 2011, according to a report by CoreLogic, a provider of information, analytics and business services. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures fell 25%, from 77,000 in September 2012 to the current 58,000.
Approximately 1.3 million homes, or 3.2% of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of October 2012 compared with 1.5 million, or 3.6%, in October 2011. Month-over-month, the national foreclosure inventory was down 1.3% from September 2012 to October 2012.
"A lower foreclosure inventory is a good indicator of improving housing markets," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "The downward trend in foreclosure inventories over the past year is yet another signal that a recovery in housing is gaining traction.”
Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said: "As a result of completed foreclosures and alternative disposition methods, the foreclosure inventory has declined by 9% year-to-date. This is good news for housing markets as we look forward to 2013.”
• The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ended in October 2012 were: California (105,000), Florida (95,000), Michigan (68,000), Texas (59,000) and Georgia (54,000).These five states account for 49% of all completed foreclosures nationally.
• The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ended in October 2012 were: South Dakota (19), District of Columbia (64), Hawaii (452), North Dakota (511) and Maine (643).
Nexus EnergyHomes introduce efficiency scoreboard
Stevensville, Md.-based home builder NEXUS EnergyHomes teamed with the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) to provide new home buyers a measurement of long-term energy performance of each new home the company builds.
The intent of the agreement is to raise consumers’ knowledge of new home energy performance by using RESNET’s HERS Index.
NEXUS EnergyHomes applies renewable resources and energy production elements to create a new standard for energy-efficient home building and green home management. NEXUS EnergyHomes are carbon-neutral, attractive, and affordable and have multiple locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic. The current average HERS Index Score for their homes is 25. This means that they are 75% more energy efficient than the standard new home.
“It is expected that NEXUS EnergyHomes’ agreement with RESNET will serve as a model to other local and regional builders that would have positive outcomes for consumers and the new home industry,” said Mike Murphy, executive VP and construction division president of NEXUS EnergyHomes.
The RESNET HERS Index is a standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The HERS or Home Energy Rating System was developed by RESNET and is the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance.
Market for recycled plastics will keep growing
A growing emphasis on sustainability in packaging will help drive up demand for post-consumer recycled plastics, according to a study published by the Freedonia Group. The Cleveland-based industry market research firm estimates that U.S. demand will rise 6.5% annually. Other factors pushing gains are advancements in processing and sorting technologies; higher quality resins; and an improved collection infrastructure, which raises the plastic recycling rate. Continued support by federal, state, and local governments for recycling efforts will also provide a significant boost to recycled plastic collection, processing, and demand.
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Packaging will continue to be the leading market for recycled plastic. Bottles will remain the leading source of plastic for recycling, accounting for over half of all plastic collected over the next five years, according to the report.
The recycled plastic industry will face some challenges, however. The overall rate of plastic recycling in the U.S. will remain relatively low — less than 7% of total plastic through 2016. Recycling is minimal in several major markets such as construction and automobiles. Export sales (mostly to China) siphon off a substantial portion of plastic scrap. High levels of contamination in some plastics also reduce the usable amount. As a result, only about half of the plastic collected for recycling makes its way to manufactured products in the U.S. market.