Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home Closing Timelines Increase, Especially in Distressed Market

Refinance applications and appraisal complications are holding up home sale closings, according to the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse survey released Monday.

According to the report, the normal timeline for a closing is about 30 days. However, the recent HousingPulse survey found the timeline to be between 45 and 60 days.

The delay is exacerbated among short sales and sales of foreclosed homes – which according to HousingPulse made up 44.4 percent of the market in September, down from 45.9 percent in August.

The survey of 2,500 real estate agents found that one major source of delays among short sales is mortgage origination preapprovals, which sometimes expire before all interested parties agree.

Sales of foreclosed homes are encountering delays when property damage complicates the appraisal process.

One Mississippi survey respondent estimated that 45 percent to 50 percent of transactions were delayed because of mortgage application timelines.

A California agent stated, “Approximately 70% of all distressed property closings (in our area) have been delayed because of loan conditions.”

A new California law is further aggravating the problem by forbidding forced deficiency notes on short sales, according to Campbell and Inside Mortgage Finance.

Under the new law, “seconds are not willing to settle,” stated one California agent, adding, “Mortgage application timelines run out for the buyers waiting to receive acceptance, counter or declination.”

The HousingPulse survey found that the gap between the supply of distressed homes and the absorption by first-time home buyers declined from 11 percent in August to 8.8 percent in September.

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