"They don’t want to deal with the headaches, and they are less likely to do the work themselves," said Trulia spokesman Ken Shuman, in an e-mail. "The older demographic wants a move-in-ready home!"
Flint and Sharga forecast — optimistically, they say — that 2010 will also be the peak year in terms of foreclosure activity. They said that they expect the number of people receiving foreclosure filings will rise to between 3.2 million and 4 million due to "unemployment levels, negative equity and bank unwillingness" to help borrowers, Flint said.
He also said he expects house prices to drop 10 to 20 percent and mortgage interest rates to rise up to 6 percent as government intervention starts to disappear and so-called "shadow inventory" of foreclosures hits the market. Sharga estimates that the inventory of possible and pending foreclosures includes about 2.5 million homes.
"The biggest wave of shadow inventory isn’t bank-owned homes or foreclosures, but the homes that are currently delinquent. They won’t hit all at once, which will protect prices from an overall calamitous drop," Sharga said.
Neither executive approved of the results of the Obama administration’s efforts to bolster the housing market. Both said the administration has fallen 90 percent short on its goal of having lenders permanently modify the projected 4 million home loans eligible for a loan modification (see related article).
While Sharga called the government’s progress "disappointing," Flint was more blunt. "They’ve been all lip service and little action," he said.
Flint also condemned "short-term fixes such as tax credits vs. long-term solutions. The tax credit has not created new demand, only pushed it to the beginning of 2010."
For current and future waves of foreclosures, Sharga points to areas with spikes in unemployment, especially in metro areas such as Boise, Idaho; Fayetteville, Ark.; Provo, Utah; Portland, Ore.; and Joliet, Ill.
Both said the administration needs to focus on increasing jobs. "There’s no point in lowering payments if the homeowner is unemployed," Flint said.
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