Florida, the foreclosure state…
According to Duane LeGate, president of House Buyer Network. From CNN:
Duane LeGate, president of House Buyer Network, arranges quick sales for home owners in distress. He claims he can predict where markets will go bad by looking at the traffic on his Web site.
Short-sale interest can indicate slumping markets that are not detectable by traditional price indices. NAR’s median home price stats and same-home sale-prices from the Office of Housing Enterprise Oversight can lag or disguise actual market conditions.
Most deals close months after prices are agreed on. Evidence of changes in market conditions may not come out for months afterwards. Evidence of significant discounts in a majority of homes sold wouldn’t appear for a while.
When LeGate sees big jumps in client contacts from a single county, he concludes that the area has hit a rough patch that may not come out in price stats for months. It’s played out that way in the past when he saw other markets going into distress.
“We called Phoenix, two counties in California and West Palm Beach, Florida in June of 2005,” he said, at a time when those areas were still perceived to be white-hot.
What an interesting – and distant! – indicator for housing. CNN, whom I don’t rely upon too heavily (go read the BBC, if you need cable news – at least the BBC knows where Afghanistan is) nevertheless also have interesting lists of house price changes by area in the US, as well as the most affordable housing.
If you live in these areas and were wanting a bigger place, sit tight, I suppose. Auction-prices may be just around the corner…
Besides the Florida markets, other locales LeGate identified as likely trouble spots include Clark County, Nevada and Riverside County, California where the site’s traffic more than doubled between June, 2006 and May, 2007, and Price George County, Maryland, where it tripled.