Housing Crisis Still Looming in Virginia

A must read op/ed by housing economist Christine Chmurra about Virginia’s continued housing crisis was just published in the Daily Progress. Below is an excerpt:

The fact that Virginia is doing better than the national average does not mean Virginia has escaped the foreclosure crisis unscathed. In March, one in every 742 housing units in Virginia filed for foreclosure — better than national average of one in 542, according to data from online foreclosure researcher RealtyTrac. Regions where homes are least affordable are those that experienced heightened foreclosure activity.

Nearly 90 percent of foreclosures in Virginia were in the Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads areas. In Chesterfield County, one in 283 housing units filed for foreclosure — the highest rate in the state in March — according to RealtyTrac.

Until the excess foreclosed properties are digested by the marketplace, housing activity will be less likely to rebound. Based on the total number of foreclosed mortgages and average distressed sales in November 2010, it will take 18 months to clear the foreclosed homes currently on the national market, according to a CoreLogic report. In Virginia, 13 months are needed to clear the current glut of foreclosed homes.

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