Economic Stimulus, Tax Credit & Foreclosures

Back in November President Obama signed a $24 billion economic stimulus bill and extended the first time home-buyer’s tax credit until June 2010. Commenting on the bill, the President said that unemployment was at its highest rate since we began measuring it in 1948.
Well two months later unemployment does not seem to be doing any better. Here in Missoula with the closing of the Pulp and Paper Mill it seems anything but … 400 more added to the unemployment rolls. And while the President is taking a trip from the White House to Main Street, we are left wondering if this will lead to change or just another Rah Rah snapshot.

The Five Top Cites In America Experiencing foreclosure
McAllen, Texas – 1 in 251 homes are foreclosures up 1,197%
Burlington, Vermont – 1 in 4,436 homes are foreclosures up 400%
Lincoln, Nebraska – 1 in 2417 homes are foreclosures up 240%
Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi – 1 in 492 homes are foreclosures up 140%
Sioux Falls, South Dakota – 1 in 492 homes are foreclosures up 116%
A staggering headine today from Massachusetts : 398 new foreclosures were filed in Massachusetts over this past week, ending Friday, December 25, 2009

Each month, Bank of America starts new foreclosures, and shortly thereafter they become public record and appear on their site. The dark blue bar shows how many foreclosures have been filed in a given month, and the light blue bar shows how many foreclosures have become public record in a given month.

From the local perspective we did see a small recovery over the summer this year in the real estate market. Homes were still selling, albeit slower than in the past two years. Market adjustments have been made to lower the rampant home prices of 2007 and 2008. That’s good news if you are in a smaller more modest priced home. Even some of the highest priced homes in Missoula and area were selling – it seems bargain hunters shop at every price point.
Sherry Fields

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