TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Bill Radke: A long, painful recovery. That’s how real estate data company RealtyTrac describes the state of the U.S. housing market. This morning, the company put out its mid-year report on home foreclosures. Marketplace’s Janet Babin has seen that report and she joins us live. Good morning, Janet.
Janet Babin: Good morning, Bill.
Radke: What do the foreclosure numbers show?
Babin: Well RealtyTrac says according to its data, home foreclosures in first half of this year increased in about three-quarters of the country’s top 200 metropolitan areas. No surprise, Las Vegas had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate again for two years running. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. area came in second, followed by Modesto, Calif. coming in third. Overall, the company blames high unemployment for these increase foreclosures.
Radke: So Janet, if I am not losing my home, how do these foreclosures affect me and the broader housing market?
Babin: Well Bill, if you did need to sell your house, you’re going to get a lot less money for it. Rick Sharga with RealtyTrac says there are more than a million properties in foreclosure, and that drives down home prices:
Rick Sharga: Until you can exhaust that supply of distressed properties, it’s going to be very, very difficult for the housing market to see any real appreciation in terms of sales prices.
Radke: Alrighty, as a homeowner, I’m officially sad. Any good news, Janet?
Babin: Well, RealtyTrac does report that in metro areas with the top 10 highest foreclosure rates, nine of them show year-over-year decreases in foreclosure since last year. So this could signal that foreclosure rates have peaked in the hardest-hit areas. But — and I’m going back to bad news here, Bill — RealtyTrac does say that the housing market won’t fully recover until the end of 2013. So taht’s quite a long time from now.
Radke: Struggling to find some hope, Marketplace’s Janet Babin. Thank you, Janet.
Babin: Thank you, Bill.
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