Record setting Molalla: Grim housing future!

Unfortunately, the falloff in foreclosures is not based on a robust recovery in the housing market but on short-term interventions and delays that will extend the current housing market woes into 2012 and beyond,” said Saccacio, who noted that only vigorous economic growth and a strong job market would buoy a housing recovery.” – James Saccacio, RealtyTrac

Yesterday the new stats came out on RealtyTrac for the national, state and local foreclosure rates in July.

The news was that foreclosure rates had improved somewhat – but sadly, only because the lenders can’t process the paperwork fast enough to keep up with defaults (see articles at end of post).

I looked at “Harper’s Index” in the Sept. magazine and found some eye popping trends:

Average lag, in months, between economic recovery and employment recovery after the nine previous recessions: 10 months”

Projected lag, in months, after this recession (between economic recovery and employment recovery): 60 months” (FIVE YEARS!)

Years it will take lenders in New York State, working at their current rate, to foreclose on all houses currently in default: 61″ (that’s SIXTY ONE YEARS!).

Now for a snapshot from RealtyTrac on foreclosure notices in July:

In the nation, one out of every 611 houses got a notice in July;

In Oregon, one out of every 892 houses got a notice in July;

In Clackamas County, one out of every 696 got a notice;

And here is how cities surrounding Molalla stacked up with notices in July:

Oregon City, one out of 715;

Estacada, one out of 349;

Colton, one out of 536;

Sandy, one out of 845;

Silverton, one out of 547;

Mulino, one out of 429;

Canby, one out of 1,024.

So now the drum roll for Molalla, it can finally claim a record!

The Molalla Walk of Shame rate was that an unbelievable ONE OUT OF EVERY 160 HOUSES GOT A FORECLOSURE NOTICE IN JULY IN MOLALLA!

That’s way up from June, when one out of every 270 houses in Molalla got a notice and Molalla has always been way above average in foreclosures since tracking began. Talk about bucking the trends – imagine if the lenders had been able to process all defaults in Molalla what the rate might have been!

So what does that mean? It means that Molalla’s failure to balance quality of life features as it stuffed in cheap cookie cutter houses in ill-planned, treeless, parkless developments has produced one of the worst housing markets in the nation. In a quick look on RealtyTrac stats, only Nevada with one out of 115 getting a notice in July surpassed Molalla.

Real estate agents tell me that people refuse to consider buying in Molalla because of the low quality, the bad schools and, most of all, the VERY LONG COMMUTE TO JOBS.

The coming articles outline that many foreclosures will become rentals – further destabilizing Molalla because renters don’t connect to as strongly to communities as property owners do.

And what does the “leadership” of Molalla do in the face of such grim news about the future of the City? They continue to fight about personal issues and they plan public money sucking projects to built yet more UNNEEDED, CHEAP, CRAPPY HOUSING in the form of the Hart Street million dollar waiver SDC project and a insane Forest Rd bypass, infrastructure the City could never afford to build: it can’t even keep up with the expense to fix the crumbling mess it already has in the city limits!

What should the “leaders” be doing? They should be smelling the coming economic disaster ahead and start planning how to carefully husband shrinking resources. On Wed. July 17 the Clackamas County tax assessor will appear at a public meeting at the Molalla Library at 7pm to tell citizens how to contest their property taxes. Adjusting property taxes will further depress welfare Molalla’s revenues. Foreclosures alone trash property values.

So hold on to your hats, Molalla “leaders” – you are surely in for years of a very VERY bumpy ride. Keep up the nasty fighting, keep your mouths shut and don’t talk to the citizens you represent. Never debate and never write an op-ed. Never hold a public Town Hall. That’s the policy in dictatorship Molalla.

Sleazy, unethical, “I work for the good old boys” FAKE mayor Clarke has been a total disaster in terms of any realistic leadership. It will be quite a hoot to see the candidates who think they want to become City Manager for Titantic Molalla.

The local ship is sinking faster than even I expected – with that HORRIFIC FORECLOSURE RATE OF ONE OUT OF EVERY ONE HUNDRED SIXTY HOUSES GETTING A NOTICE IN JULY ALONE, with every foreclosure dragging down the value of every nearby house, and with the ongoing false idea that stuffing in more housing will save the day, Molalla is truly a festering pimple on the landscape.

How sad for the trapped citizens to have leaders who only represent the interests of the merchant class. I recently read a great article about civic sustainability/civic ecology. The formula for a healthy, thriving city boiled down to respect for three needed legs of a community “stool”: one leg is economic opportunities, one leg is civic involvement where citizens drive the decisions of the leaders and the last leg is respect and care for the environment. Molalla only caters to the economic leg – that’s an abject failure because there aren’t enough people to attract businesses and there aren’t enough businesses, jobs and services (or quality) to attract an educated workforce. The civic involvement leg is a joke, with multiple recalls threatened, insider trading driving public policy to help a few good old boys at the expense of the public and callous disregard for vetting important decisions like a new police chief to the public BEFORE A CHOICE WAS MADE.

It is hard to even mention “ecology” or “environment” in the same sentence with Molalla: a parched earth, car based, treeless, parkless wasteland of asphalt parking and open ditches that ultimately lead to a sewer pipe puking wastewater into the Molalla River. There is what SHOULD be a great little watershed snaking though town called Bear Creek – except poor little Bear Creek has been a sewage dump and in many places is still buried beneath polluted, abandoned mill sites. In no time, a patch of a what’s left of a so-called tiny park will host a ridiculous open space eating “pavillion” – putting Molalla even farther behind on open space/parkland. The so-called “shovel ready” industrial/commercial sites have huge pollution mitigation costs associated to development: what business person would be dumb enough to buy land that’s polluted and get stuck paying to mitigate pollution caused by past mill owners? That’s surely a LOL proposition!

Hell, it’s time to call an ugly spade an ugly spade: I’d suggest getting rid of the idea of parks/open space all together in failed timber resource Molalla: with that kind of ongoing horrific foreclosure rate and the coming transient , poverty stricken population Molalla will be stuck with, there is little need for ambiance. How about just filling up the remaining postage stamp parks with swap meets, soup kitchens and pawnshops? Those are the kinds of “services” Molalla will need most for its dubious future.

Molalla has cut off its lifelines – lifelines which should, long ago, have included respect for and guidance from diverse community members. Molalla should have been working to constantly improve rather than degrade the the local environment.  With the head in the sand, we need to grow (but we’re too ugly and broke to attract business and residents) city attitude, the irresponsible fake leaders (who apparently can’t read a demographtic trend or financial report to save their lives)  are leading ever faster to Molalla’s ditch of no return.

Remember: There are always places that DON’T GROW. There are GHOST TOWNS that never recover after the local resource – in Molalla’s case timber – disappeared. Molalla thought the housing boom was an economy – one out of every 160 houses getting a foreclosure notice in July as the rest of the nation improved proves beyond a doubt that the STUFF EM IN POLICY FAILED MISERABLY – and that “stuff em in” will be the ultimate doom of Molalla. And yet silly, dumb, nasty mayor Clarke is busy using his son to try to stifle the only city councilors who have been willing to question the bankrupt policies.

I can HARDLY WAIT to see the 4 people who think they want to try to manage Backwaterville. That will be an eye opener. Either those 4 people botched up some other city so badly they have to bail or they don’t know yet what the truth is about bankrupt Buckerooville. Either way it is abandon all hope ye who were unfortunate to try to manage or invest in sinking ship Molalla.

Read on for the way Molalla is out of synch with the foreclosure trends:

Foreclosures Drop to 44-Month Low in July

Foreclosure monitoring firm Realtytrac’s latest monthly report revealed that foreclosure activity dropped 35% from July of 2010 to last month — the lowest in 44 months. Realtytrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for July 2011 “showed foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 212,764 U.S. properties in July, a 4 percent decrease from June.”

The list of hardest hit states is nearly identical to what it has been for two years. The top 10 were Georgia, Utah, Florida, Michigan, Idaho, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nevada, California, and Arizona. Most of these states have relatively high unemployment rates which exacerbates the problem.

Despite the data, Realtytrac also warned that the decrease in foreclosures is artificial. Once homes which have been held up by robo-signing delays and state court filings are over, the market should be prepared for another flood of foreclosures. Realtytrac CEO James J. Saccacio, said “Unfortunately, the falloff in foreclosures is not based on a robust recovery in the housing market but on short-term interventions and delays that will extend the current housing market woes into 2012 and beyond. A stabilizing economy and improving job market are the long-term keys to a housing market recovery.”

But, could the process that causes foreclosed homes to be dumped on the market only to depress the prices of other homes be tempered? Maybe. President Obama proposed a program yesterday that would encourage the rental of foreclosed homes owned by the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. Similar programs could spread to banks which offer homes at steep discounts to get residential real estate off of their books. But, financial firms take large write-offs of these and might rather rent some of them, if they could.

Federal attempts to buoy the home market have been a failure so far. The Making Home Affordable Program operation was launched in March 2009. The main component of this plan was the Home Affordable Modification Program. It was set up to lower mortgage payments for those who could not afford them, but wanted to remain in their houses. A Congressional Oversight Panel report issued in December 2010 said the programs has been failures and had fallen far short of goals to modify mortgages for 3 million to 4 million homes .

The failures by the Administration to build a floor under the housing market have been a disappointment but there is always hope. The new Obama plan to rent homes in foreclosure might potentially have a positive effect on home prices.
See full article from DailyFinance:

U.S. foreclosures fall in July -RealtyTrac

NEW YORK Aug 11 (Reuters) – The number of U.S. homes that received foreclosures filings fell to a near four year low in July, a survey said on Thursday.

Notice of default, auction sale or bank repossession were sent to 212,764 properties in July, the lowest number since November 2007, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said.

That represents a 4 percent decrease over June and a 35 percent decrease over last year.

“The downward trend in foreclosure activity has now taken on a life of its own,” James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, said in a statement. The robo-signing controversy last year, which forced banks to slow the pace of foreclosures, plus government programs to help struggling homeowners stave off repossession may explain the drop, he said.

One in every 611 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing last month.

Default notices were down 58 percent from their peak in April 2009, while bank repossesions saw a 34 percent decline from their September 2010 high.

Nevada posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the 55th straight month, with one in every 115 houses receiving a foreclosure filing. California and Arizona also posted high rates of foreclosure.

“Unfortunately, the falloff in foreclosures is not based on a robust recovery in the housing market but on short-term interventions and delays that will extend the current housing market woes into 2012 and beyond,” said Saccacio, who noted that only vigorous economic growth and a strong job market would buoy a housing recovery.

The U.S. housing market crash three years ago wiped out trillions of dollars in home equity, and low demand caused by the U.S. recession plus the slow pace of foreclosures has kept the glut of unsold homes from playing out.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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