According to a foreclosure data service I subscribe to, there are 305 foreclosures in various stages of litigation here in Greenwich, with 193 of those initiated this year. I have looked at many – maybe most – of those properties and I don’t see any that are going to come out alive. By which I mean, the mortgage debt is greater than the current value of the house (I’m not talking about liens placed on houses for commercial disputes, but actual suits to foreclose a mortgage).
From anecdotal evidence, tales of friends of friends who, laid off, have been struggling to find a new job and failing, I’m afraid we’re going to see even more foreclosures started next year. Between those new actions and the concluding legal process for the earlier ones, I believe we are going to have a big chunk of bank owned housing to dispose of soon. Our current inventory, for instance, is around 585 single homes. Many of those are, of course, in trouble, but if we add another 350 distressed properties to that inventory, the results will be good for buyers, bad for sellers.
I’m far more pessimistic on this subject than many other realtors and I certainly wouldn’t panic if I were you – I could be way off here. But I do think that, if you’re holding your house off the market with the intention of selling it at a higher price next fall, you may want to consider either planning on holding on for another couple of years or getting out this spring.
That’s my two cents worth, anyway.