What Happened to the Housing Market in 2011

5 events that really had an impact

Time Magazine and AOL Real Estate each have lists of the most significant news in real estate in 2011:

AOL’s #1: “Foreclosure Crisis”

The “emotional and economic distress.” The “drag on a recovery.” The “tighter lending practices.” The robo-signing scandal. The prospect of a settlement that will only result in more foreclosures.


Time’s #1: “Robo-Signing Reverberations”

The record average foreclosure processing time of 2011 (631 days) can be directly linked to the speedy foreclosure processing scandal in 2010 — without proper or complete documentation. Many homes are still stalled somewhere mid-process, but when a settlement with the banks is reached, experts expect to see a distinct increase in foreclosure volume in 2012.

Time’s #2: “The Debt Ceiling and the Budget Deficit”

“One idea that both Republicans and Democrats didn’t totally disagree about was reducing the mortgage interest and other tax deductions. If and when that happens, high-income homeowners with mortgages would pay a lot more in taxes.”


AOL’s #3: “Bankrupt Policy”

The very definition of too little, too late — the administration’s multiple attempts to support homeowners in distress (HAMP, HARP, EHLP, or 2MP) all fell flat, failing to reach a substantial percentage of their intended beneficiaries and/or failing to provide substantial assistance.

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Time’s #4: “Natural Disasters Cause Insurance Disaster?”

The federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NIFP) is still reeling from Katrina, a problem for the housing market that felt the spotlight when Irene struck this year. In a catch-22 of nearly epic proportions, if NFIP goes under, flood insurance goes away, bringing the housing market in flood-prone areas to a dead stop— as you cannot get a mortgage without flood insurance.

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