“Article Says Foreclosures at the Lowest Monthly Total in Eight Years”

“Article Says Foreclosures at the Lowest Monthly Total in Eight Years”



While that is a wonderful headline, there is a big problem. I keep reading that homeownership is at historic lows. One number that I read says the lowest homeownership level in 48 years. So you do the math, is there any wonder we are at the lowest monthly foreclosure level in 8 years?

What are causes for historic lows in home ownership? There are many, but I’ll name a few:

1)    Government regulations, as a result of Dodd-Frank are making home ownership an out of reach dream for many.
2)    Employment or lack thereof. Over 20% of Millennials are unemployed and over 20% only work part-time.
3)    Student loan debt. Between the inability for many to get jobs in their field of study or even get a job, again is putting home ownership out of reach.
4)    Credit issues that resulted from not being able to pay student loans, medical obligations and credit cards.
5)    There are still millions of homes that are upside down. Their owners can’t refinance or sell and they are still paying high interest rates.
6)    The family structure has been forced to change; many millennials are living with family. I see 2 families living in one household to save money.

What are your thoughts? What must be done to correct these trends?

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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

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Comment balloon 36 commentsJoe Petrowsky • August 30 2015 02:39PM


Joe, no easy answers to your questions. Maybe people taking out student loans should pay more attention to their selected field of study! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Joe - you raise important questions. Even with low mortgage rates, people are still hesitant to get their feet wet. I'm sure residual fear from the recession is holding some people back, as well as all of the factors you mentioned.

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) almost 4 years ago

Joe - all those things are true.  This is rather uneven because some parts of the country are pulling up those numbers you read. 


Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 4 years ago

It's also too expensive to get started as a first time homebuyer (at least in NY). Not only because of downpayments and closing costs, but as you point out, due to credit and debt issues that impact ability to get financing. There really should be money/credit classes taught at an early age.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Joe.  Repeal Dodd-Frank is on a lot of peoples mind.  If it were repealed would that solve a lot of the issues?  Maybe but  once a government law is passed it is almost impossible for it to be repealed.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 4 years ago

Joe: Plenty of buyers in my area but it does take longer to close homes than it has in the past.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) almost 4 years ago

Hi Joe.  I read an article that stated only 37% of the millennials have a full time job.  Not good.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) almost 4 years ago

Good Morning Joe: Eradicate inefficient public servants immediately and overhaul the system.  I wish we can do that with a magic wand.

That is scary news Conrad Allen . :(

Posted by Maria Gilda Racelis, Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen! (Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington) almost 4 years ago

Hi Joe.  My take is that either people aren't interested in buying homes (not very likely) or they can't afford the homes (very likely).  Why this is so, is subject to debate.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 4 years ago

First of all, get rid of Dodd-Frank, Joe. As for many of the remaining issues, they are way above my pay-grade!

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Joe,

As with everything it always starts at the top and it is so top heavy with layers of government it is a wonder anything gets bought.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 4 years ago

Well wages need to catch up & job growth in many areas are a struggle...especially better paying jobs.  What I will tell you is that many reports are showing that REOs are and will grow...I do believe that short sales & REOs are here to stay, Joe.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

  The first time home owner programs are no longer available...not sure how much of a difference that makes market by market...and that is real estate...market by market.  Our former short sale sellers are returning as home buyers snf we applaud that moooove !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 4 years ago

Yes, I would agree w/ your points.  And, many do not feel secure/stable about their future.  Many either don't have much cushion in savings and/or not sure if they will for the next several years.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Joe. Very interesting. I guess if you are in foreclosure the numbers don't much matter though.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 4 years ago

I'm always confused, especially working with seniors, how little they have in savings even though they have, or had, good paying jobs...

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) almost 4 years ago

I can't help but think of what Dave Ramsey says about debt...the borrower is slave to the lender. Can that hold true to the U.S. as we owe so much money to China?I suppose that is a question for a different blog.

Posted by Raul Rodriguez, Looking out for the client's interest and not my p (Covenant Partners Realty) almost 4 years ago

It will be interesting to see if our strong real etate year can survive a 4th quarter economic slump ?

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Joe, it's so sad to see so many college graduates either without jobs, living with their parents or having low paying jobs. Sad but most of my buyers are not millenials.

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) almost 4 years ago

We still have some down payment assistance programs.  I  see many young folks with a tremendous amount of college loan debt.  The interest rates on these loans are ridiculous. But this debt factored in to the buying equation takes a toll on what they can afford to buy.

Posted by Shirley Coomer, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az (Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living) almost 4 years ago

Joe, thinking the foreclosure rate differs substantially depending on where you are looking.  We have had a very low foreclosure rate, but that could always change.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) almost 4 years ago

Joe, I don't see any change until Q4 2016. Politics will keep this economy in the same state. 

Posted by Frank Rubi, FrankRubiRealEstate.com (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) almost 4 years ago

So Joe Petrowsky Do you think there just might be a governmental conspiracy here? The big money has moved into residential income property. They need more renters.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Joe-Economic growth has traditionally been great for home ownership rising. We have little growth and the drags on the economy you mentioned, it looks like a long haul to improvement in this area.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) almost 4 years ago

I think that it's the accumulative effect of all these things that keep people from buying, Joe Petrowsky.  Not just one specific thing.  So many seem to think they know the answer of whether they can buy before they even try.  They don't even ask specific questions, they're so sure of it.  THAT mindset .. THAT depression (of sorts) is hard to overcome with marketing.

What I've seen is when these clients eventually do ask questions, they are often very surprised at the positive results.  Question is .. how do we as individual professionals get that message heard over the loud negative one the media shares continually??


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) almost 4 years ago

Has Ocwen been delisted yet?  

Far as I am concerned foreclosures should be zero or very close to it.


Posted by Scott Thompson, Commerical Finance - Blue Springs, MO (Columbia Mortgage Plus) almost 4 years ago


Your post has received a big response  . . . . with great comments.

As with most conditions  . . . . we have to look the leadership and their vision for the the country.

Dodd-Frank has been a nightmare . . . . and a big factor in creating the real estate meltdown . . . . and now creating a barrier to home ownership.

There's a lack of focus on jobs . . . . and a over focus on regulations that hurts the job market . . . . and in not helping to create home ownership.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig



Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) almost 4 years ago

Marriages are being deferred. All of the mothers need to organize to match up their single kids to get married and purchase homes.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 4 years ago

There are still too many foreclosures on the market down here in Florida.

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 4 years ago

Joe you make some very good points in this blog, but none of that matters to Washington as long as they can say the foreclosure figures are down.  Why confuse things with the fact :) :) :)

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 4 years ago

Come on Joe we are NOT going to talk about the FACTS! Lets just focus on one isolated thing that LOOKS like the feds can manage to do anything right!

Yeah that will help us all .... oops wait we have yet another debt ceiling coming up soon wonder what happens there????

Please vote its your chance to focus on progress or regress

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) almost 4 years ago

In our state the term impeachment would be a start

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 4 years ago

Interesting points Joe, it shows our changing world. I remember as a kid anyone could have a home. I had friends who had parents with an at home mother and the Dad was a blue color worker and they somehow made it. Things are so different.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) almost 4 years ago

I think we still have a lot of people that lost their homes that are frightened to buy again and still can't buy a home again, because they probably still have the foreclosure, or short sale, to deal with on their credit report. 

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) almost 4 years ago

I hope things will improve. There are many millennials living at home with their parents and seniors are living with their children. 

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 4 years ago

Hi Joe - in our market -- high prices, low inventory and the lack of buying power at the entry level.   

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 4 years ago