Ohio was at the forefront of the housing crisis that the nation has been working to recover from for the past decade. According to a 2016 report by Policy Matters Ohio, there were 40,479 new foreclosure filings in Ohio in 2015, which was less than half of the peak levels seen in 2009, and 7 percent below that of 2014. However, “the total was still 2.5 times higher than levels prior to the onset of subprime lending in the mid-1990s,” according to the report. How have things improved the ensuing years, now even further removed from the housing crisis? The news from Ohio is positive, according to new data provided by Columbus REALTORS.
Foreclosures have been trending downwards consistently since the crisis, and this new data from Columbus REALTORS examines that through the lens of short sales and foreclosure sales. Like many markets, central Ohio saw surging home sales in 2017, but Columbus REALTORS reports that the share of lender-mediated sales declined to 4.8 percent during Q4 2017. That’s down by more than half from 2016’s figure of 9.0 percent.
According to the report, sales for all homes during Q4 were up 3.3 percent year-over-year for the region, with traditional sales up 8.1 percent but lender-mediated closed sales were down 45.1 percent.
“This is excellent news,” said Sara Walsh, 2018 Columbus REALTORS President. “With the job growth we’ve experienced and improved economy over the last few years, it’s clear that fewer homeowners are having trouble with their mortgages.”
The report also found significantly fewer short sales and foreclosures on the market during Q4, with the number of distressed homes on the market down 60.6 percent year-over-year. At the end of Q4, short sales and foreclosures accounted for 5.3 percent of the total inventory compared to 8.9 percent in Q4 2016. “In early 2011, distressed properties made up 23 percent of the inventory and almost half of the sales,” said Walsh.
According to a 2016 report by the Brookings Institute, statewide foreclosure filings in Ohio hit 84,751 in 2007, even before the full weight of the financial crisis had hit. The Brookings report states, “As of the middle of 2008, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 7.17 percent of Ohio mortgage holders were delinquent in their payments, and 3.97 percent, or 1 out of every 25 mortgages, were in foreclosure. By this measure, Ohio has the third highest foreclosure rate in the United States.”
Ohio is still near the top of the list when it comes to national foreclosure trends. It had the fifth highest rate in the country as of January 2018, according to RealtyTrac data, which worked out to one foreclosure action for every 1,212 housing units. Compare that, however, to 2015’s numbers, when there was one foreclosure filing for every 127 housing units, according to Policy Matters Ohio. That’s no small improvement.