Researchers warn of delayed foreclosures and stalled recovery
An article in USA Today points to concerns over uncertainty about foreclosure rules, and their impact on the housing market recovery.
While about one million financially distressed Americans could stay in their homes longer thanks to foreclosure processing delays, but the result for the general housing market could be a delayed recovery, according to the article.
States where foreclosures take the longest to process are New York, 966 days; New Jersey 944 days and Florida, 676 days, according to the article, citing RealtyTrac. The average foreclosure process takes about 318 days.
The article further reported that foreclosure filings through the first six months of 2011 were down 29% compared to the same period last year.
Pennsylvania lumberyard closes
Graeber’s Lumber, a one-unit lumberyard and millwork shop in Fairless Hills, Pa., closed for business on July 11, according to a notice on its website.
Located in Buck’s County, about 20 miles outside of Philadelphia, Graeber’s Lumber did $17 million in sales in 2009, according to the latest figures available. It sold roofing, flooring, kitchen and bath fixtures, windows and doors, in addition to lumber and other wood products.
Container traffic remains flat
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is staying at about the same levels this summer as last year, although traffic is expected to pick up this fall, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.
U.S. ports handled 1.28 million TEU in May, the latest month for which numbers are available. (One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent.) That was up 6% from April and 1% from May 2010. It was the 18th month in a row to show a year-over-year improvement after December 2009 broke a 28-month streak of year-over-year declines.
“With the economy facing continuing challenges, retailers are managing their inventory levels carefully,” said Jonathan Gold, VP supply chain and customs policy for NRF. “But the increases in import volume expected this fall are a clear sign that retailers are confident consumer demand will be there in the fourth quarter.”
June was estimated at 1.31 million TEU, about eight-tenths of 1% down from June 2010, if the estimate holds true when final numbers become available. July is forecast at 1.36 million TEU, which would be a 1.3% decrease from a year ago, and August is forecast at 1.43 million TEU, up six-tenths of 1% from last year. Stronger increases are expected to return in September as retailers begin to stock up for the holiday season, with volume forecast at 1.47 million TEU, up 10% from last year. October is forecast at 1.53 million TEU, up 18%, and November at 1.41 million TEU, up 19%.
The U.S. ports covered by Port Tracker are: Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast; and Houston on the Gulf Coast.