The housing business cycle appears to be on an upswing nationwide, with permits and starts rising while the supply of homes on the market remains tight. But one factor that has dragged the market down — a glut of bank-owned homes and houses in foreclosure — isn't quite ready to go away. That's particularly true in states where legal processes have slowed down the foreclosure process — such as Maryland, reports the Washington Post ("Thousands of Marylanders are losing homes in second wave of foreclosures," by Annys Shin).
"Foreclosure hot spots, once concentrated in Prince George's County and Baltimore, are suddenly appearing across the state, in communities from Baltimore County to the Eastern Shore, especially in areas that have yet to recover from the recession and where unemployment rates remain high," the Post reports. "For many Marylanders battling to keep their homes, it might as well still be 2008."
But it's not 2008 — and this second foreclosure wave may not be able to hold the broader economy back. "The second wave of foreclosures is unlikely to be as devastating as the first one, experts said, because it coincides with a housing recovery that is making it easier for banks to offload distressed homes," the Post reports. "People realize the market has pretty much bottomed out in terms of home prices," said Daren Blomquist, a RealtyTrac vice president. "People are jumping in. These foreclosure properties will be snatched up quickly."