Poll: Have your thoughts on homeownership changed?by Tim Manni
Lenders foreclosed on a lot more homes last month — 3 percent more than the month prior and 25 percent more than they did a year ago:
Lenders took back more homes in August than in any month since the start of the U.S. mortgage crisis.
The increase in home repossessions came even as the number of properties entering the foreclosure process slowed for the seventh month in a row, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.
In all, banks repossessed 95,364 properties last month, up 3 percent from July and an increase of 25 percent from August 2009, RealtyTrac said.
August makes the ninth month in a row that the pace of homes lost to foreclosure has increased on an annual basis. The previous high was in May.
The increasing number of foreclosures was evident in the mixed, cautious responses Fannie Mae received in their latest housing survey:
Seventy percent of Americans think it is a good time to buy a house, compared with 64 percent in a similar survey conducted in January 2010. But 33 percent — up from 30 percent — of all respondents said they would be more likely to rent their next home if they were to move.
“Although most Americans believe that home prices have bottomed, they are adopting a much more cautious approach toward buying,” [Doug Duncan, Vice President and Chief Economist, Fannie Mae] continued. “Homeowners and renters alike continue to be wary of taking on risk, and they are less confident in the long-term outlook for housing.”
A majority of Americans (67 percent) continue to believe that housing is a safe investment; however, that number is down 16 percentage points from a similar survey conducted in 2003 — the largest drop by far among all investment types tracked since then. Delinquent borrowers and renters are notably more discouraged than mortgage borrowers and underwater borrowers about a home’s safety as an investment and the appeal of buying versus renting. More than 70 percent of all respondents believe it will be harder for the next generation to buy a home, up three points from the beginning of the year.