Of foreclosures, headlines and distressed sales…

The headline of the top story on Page 1 of the Oakland Press today was “Foreclosures Down 45%”.  Of course it was very large type to draw maximum attention to that tidbit of information as a sound bite. The accompanying story talked as much about why the numbers reported by Oakland County are a more accurate reflection of the market that the numbers reported by regional or national groups. Apparently some of those “others” report every event within the foreclosure process as if it was a new foreclosure. That means that the delinquency notice, the Sheriff’s sale and the eviction notice would all be reported as foreclosures – three reported for the price of one. The Oakland County numbers only report the Sheriff’s sale, which is the best indicator that a foreclosure has indeed taken place.

I track and report on real estate sales in 8 local township/city/village markets and I report what I call distressed sales. These are sales recorded in the public records as either a foreclosure (where there was a Sheriff’s sale) or as a short sale (reporting of short sales is required by the local Multi-List Services). I can report that, in general, distressed sales are down; however, there are still a few Townships – West Bloomfield,  Highland and White Lake – that are still showing distressed sales near or above 50% of all sales, so far this year. The Lyon/South Lyon Market is the best in terms of low distressed sales right now.

Below are some distressed sales numbers comparing the most recent full month (April) over the last three years:

Milford – April, 2012 – Total Sales – 12, Distressed Sales – 5 ( 42%),  4 out of the 5 were foreclosures

Milford – April, 2011 – Total Sales – 17, Distressed Sales – 6 (35%), 4 out of the 6 were foreclosures

Milford – April, 2010 – Total Sales – 10, Distressed Sales – 5 (50%), 4 out of the 5 were foreclosures

Highland – April, 2012 – Total Sales – 21, Distressed – 15 (71%), 13 out of the 15 were foreclosures

Highland – April, 2011 – Total Sales – 15, Distressed – 8 (54%), 6 of the 8 were foreclosures

Highland – April, 2010 – Total Sales – 19, Distressed – 15 (79%), 5 out of the 15 were foreclosures

Commerce – April, 2012 – Total Sales – 40, Distressed – 22 (55%), 16 out of the 22 were foreclosures

Commerce – April, 2011 – Total Sales – 51, Distressed – 26 (51%), 22 out of the 26 were foreclosures

Commerce – April, 2010 – Total Sales – 30, Distressed – 21 (70%), 16 out of the 21 were foreclosures

These local market numbers don’t necessarily support the report that foreclosures are down, at least not in these three markets. They are up in Highland and about the same over the three year period in Milford and Commerce.

For data on all of the Townships that I track go to my web site www.movetomilford.com .

There are all sorts of regional and national articles and news reports that spout off numbers, usually in the headlines, that really don’t reflect the local market; so, stick with the reports that you’ll get on my site to be really in-the-know about our local markets.


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