While it is still too early to make any bold claims or big predictions, there is some indication that the housing and mortgage industries may be headed for a recovery. There are still many problems that need to be resolved and we aren’t out of the woods just yet, but some signs point towards reasons for hope that things could be changing soon.
Holding Out Hope
After news came last week of the mortgage settlement deal made with big lenders, many are optimistic that the lending industry has learned their lesson. Although some are still critical of the settlement deal, the fact remains that homeowners put through poor lending and unlawful foreclosure practices will get recognition and restitution for their troubles. Further, big lenders have been punished for their actions and are seeing big changes in the way they are expected to conduct business from here on out.
Foreclosure proceedings continue to drop each month along with a decline in mortgage delinquency rates, which by nearly a full percentage point from the 2010. A 0.25 decrease in foreclosure initiations was observed in the fourth quarter of 2011, a sign that banks are shying away from beginning any new foreclosures. Instead, more lenders are offering refinancing options to homeowners prior to default and approving more short sale transactions for underwater mortgage holders. Although too early to tell, these actions demonstrate the leap from where we were just one year ago.