According to recently released data from 2016 foreclosure filings were reported on 933,045 U.S. properties, down 14 percent from 2015 to the lowest level since 2006.
The Year-End 2016 Foreclosure Market report shows that 0.7 percent of U.S. housing units had at least one foreclosure filing in 2016, the lowest annual foreclosure rate nationwide since 2006, when 0.58 percent of housing units had at least one foreclosure filing.

The District of Columbia had the highest share of legacy foreclosures with 76 percent, followed by Hawaii (66%), New Jersey (64%), Nevada (63%), Delaware (62%), and Massachusetts (61%). In terms of total number of legacy foreclosures, New Jersey led the way with 32,279, followed by New York (31,838), Florida (29,411), California (17,208), and Illinois (12,244).
Counter to the national trend, 15 states and the District of Columbia posted a year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts in 2016, including Delaware (up 37 percent); Connecticut (up 35 percent); Maine (up 30 percent); Rhode Island (up 26 percent); Arizona (up 15 percent); and Massachusetts (up 12 percent).
“The national foreclosure rate stayed within an historically normal range for the third consecutive year in 2016, even as banks continued to clear out legacy foreclosures from the last housing bubble, particularly in the final quarter of the year,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, “Data still show that more than half of all active foreclosures nationwide are on loans originated between 2004 and 2008.”

Supply Watch: Gradual Single Family Construction Expected In 2017

More single-family homes will be constructed in 2017, but at a gradual rate, reported economists at the recent Home Builders Conference. The NAHB expects single-family construction to rise 10 percent to 855,000 units, and to 12 percent to 961,000 in 2018. according to NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz,

Dietz said, “While positive developments on the demand side will support solid growth in the single-family housing sector in 2017, builders in many markets continue to face supply-side constraints led by the three Ls—lots, labor and lending,” said Dietz.

Confidence and growth in the economy could give home-building a boost, with home builders optimistic that the new administration will lower construction costs. Said Dietz, “Regulatory requirements make up nearly 25 percent of the cost of a new home. Townhouse construction, Dietz said, is growing and viable, especially for first-time homebuyers, comprising 12 percent of housing starts nationally.”

On the topic of homeownership, economists expect mortgage rates to average 4.5 percent in the year ahead, and 5.3 percent in 2018. “We anticipate a stronger economy will translate into higher mortgage rates,” said Economist Dr. Frank Nothaft. “Meanwhile, we expect moderation in 2017 for rent and home price growth, but it will still be higher than inflation.” Source: National Association of Home Builders

Housing Value at Record High

Housing’s collective value grew to $29.6 trillion this year, a record-high reflecting 5.7 percent appreciation—an additional $1.6 trillion—in 2016, according to a recently released analysis by Zillow. The most housing value in the nation is in Los Angeles, Calif., New York, N.Y., and San Francisco, Calif., at 8.6 percent, 8 percent and 4.2 percent, in order.

The continuing growth in prices now marking a full recovery since the crash of 2008, has the potential to push more prospective homebuyers to the sidelines, says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.

“Housing is incredibly important to us personally and to the economy as a whole,” says Gudell. “The U.S. housing stock is worth more than ever, which is a sign of the ongoing housing recovery. As buying a home gets more expensive, affordability remains a concern for many, and these numbers highlight just how much people are spending on housing.

The total value of the housing stock grew nearly 6 percent this year, a pace that will likely mean some American families are priced out of homeownership.”
Analysts predict that, nationally, home price appreciation may exceed 6 percent for the new year 2017.

Despite this year’s appreciation, approximately 60 percent of housing markets remain below values reached during the bubble years, according to the analysis.