July National, State and Twin Cities Foreclosure News

A recent report show that foreclosure filings have declined since last fall. However, this real estate snap shot isn't a completely pretty picture.

RealtyTrack, an Irvine California firm, has reported foreclosure filings have slowed and are down 25% nationally during the first half of 2011 as compared to the first half of last year. The rate is 29% lower compared to the rate from the second half of 2010. Still, a depressing total of 1,170,402 foreclosures were filed through the end of June, 2011.

The length of time from default to foreclosure to auction has grown.  U.S. properties foreclosed in the second quarter were in the foreclosure process an average of 318 days from the initial notice to the completion, up from 277 days in the second quarter of 2010. New York leads the nation in the length of its foreclosure process at an astounding 944 days. Florida was next at 676 days. At the other end of the spectrum, Texas’ process took 92 days.

The longer length of time for the foreclosure process could be a good or a bad sign. On the one hand, banks are still processing a high-number of defaults, which may be slowing the foreclosure process. On the other, many programs are being developed and offered to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. This is also true for Minnesota.

On a completely related note!

The Washington County Library and the Washington County Housing and Redevelopment Authority are offering free foreclosure counseling and information workshops on Thursdays in July, providing advice from trained foreclosure-prevention counselors. The events will include a 45-minute presentation summarizing the foreclosure process. Participants will also have an opportunity to meet individually with a foreclosure-prevention counselor. No pre-registration is required.

"The value in speaking to a county foreclosure-prevention counselor is identifying options,"...

Busted House a Boon to Community

Five long years after it was snapped up by a bank in foreclosure, a dilapidated house at the intersection of Oakdale and Butler avenues in West St. Paul has been dropped into the hands of the city's economic development authority. The donation is an unusual opportunity amid the mortgage mess.

In an emailed statement, U.S. Bank spokeswoman Teri Charest said the donation "was the best option because of the value it provides the community. We applaud their efforts to turn this space into something that will benefit the neighborhood."

At its meeting next month, the EDA will discuss what to do with the 0.15-acre lot. It will likely become an open space for the neighborhood. There's even been talk about using it as a community garden.

During the time it belonged to the bank, the property racked up a considerable stack of citations for maintenance problems ranging from broken windows to tall weeds. It brought in contractors for estimates to fix up the house after they were hit with several property-maintenance citations, but eventually realized it made no sense to rehabilitate the house. By donating the property, the bank can write it off as a loss and stop paying for maintenance and county taxes.

Dakota County tax records show the home and lot are worth an estimated $127,900. However, a recent appraisal pegged the home's value at about $26,000.

Source: U.S. Bank turns over foreclosed home to West St. Paul for possible open space


Twin Cities Summer of New Construction

New numbers from around the Twin Cities metro area indicate home construction is beginning to pick up. After reaching record lows in 2008 and 2009, officials are cautiously hopeful about new home construction over summer.

According to the Builders Association of the Twin Cities
, Blaine was the leader for July in the number of building permits issued with 28, followed by Maple Grove with 26, Woodbury with 17, Hugo with 14, and Shakopee with 12.

For the total number of units permitted in July, Blaine topped the list with 28, followed by Maple Grove with 27, Woodbury with 25, Hugo with 21, and Shakopee with 12.

For the first seven months of 2010, Maple Grove issued 160 permits, followed by Blaine with 153, Shakopee with 126, Woodbury with 98, and Lakeville with 85. Oakdale, Woodbury, Cottage Grove and Forest Lake have already issued more permits this year than in all of 2009.

There has been a flurry of activity in Woodbury and Hugo
. Woodbury leads the entire metro area in terms of planned units for 2010, as well as the valuation of permits issued. Through the end of July, Woodbury had approved 98 permits for 373 units valued at $49.8 million. In 2009, 255 units were approved.

Though it is an improvement, it is unlikely home building will ever return to the boom period the Twin Cities saw during the last two decades, when Woodbury saw more than 1,600 new units a year....

Community Highlights ~ Woodbury, MN

The City of Woodbury is an attractive community of cozy neighborhoods, interconnected by miles and of hiking and biking trails. Located just outside of St. Paul, life in Woodbury offers residents access to the many amenities of the city while allowing them a quieter place to escape to when the return home.

Woodbury is a well-rounded city. In addition to its great residential areas, this first-ring Twin Cities Metro suburb is home to several corporate headquarters that are major employers in the area, providing plenty of job opportunities. Woodbury also has plenty of shopping and commercial areas, making the Woodbury a shopping destination for the eastern metro area. Last, but not least, with 28 park sites and green spaces, Woodbury is filled with recreational opportunities in a variety of outdoor settings.

Most of Woodbury is served by Independent School District #833 which offers an array of excellent educational opportunities for all students. Some parts of the community are also served by #834 (Stillwater) and #622 (Maplewood-Oakdale-North St. Paul).

Though the average sale price for a single family house in Woodbury is $296,000, prices can range from $100,000 to over $500,000. Woodbury MN real estate can be within your reach!

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