NFR Newsroom

5 Questions With: Daren Blomquist

💼 5 Questions With

Daren Blomquist – VP Market Economics at Auction.com

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Foreclosures steadily declined from 2010 to 2021, but increased in 2022, 2023 and in the first few months of 2024. Will foreclosures start to decrease again if the Federal Funds Rate is lowered mid-to-late-2024?

Yes, lower mortgage rates, which are influenced by the Federal Funds Rate, are directly correlated with delinquency and foreclosure. So a lower Federal Funds Rate would likely result in fewer foreclosures. Of course there are other factors impacting foreclosures that could counteract decreasing mortgage rates. Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures are strongly correlated to unemployment, so if the Fed is lowering interest rates in response to a recession where unemployment is rising, that could have a net effect of raising foreclosure volume.

What other trends affect the distressed market, and what do you see for the rest of the year for foreclosures?

While the number of delinquent mortgages is now at about the same level it was in 2019, the volume of completed foreclosures is still running at less than half of 2019 levels.

That disconnect is a function of more expansive foreclosure prevention options for delinquent homeowners coming out of the pandemic, some lingering pandemic stimulus money for distressed homeowners, and high levels of home equity for many homeowners.

We expect foreclosure volume to remain muted for 2024 as a result of those factors.

Do more of the buyers on auction.com sell distressed properties after rehabbing them, or rent them?

Fifty-five percent of our buyers say renovating and reselling to owner-occupants is their primary investing strategy, while 39 percent say their primary investing strategy is renovating and renting. This is according to a survey of more than 400 buyers we conducted in January 2024.

What states are experiencing the highest foreclosure rates?

Foreclosure volumes have returned close to 2019 levels, or in some cases higher than 2019 levels, in many states in the Midwest and Rust Belt. Many states in the Southeast, notably Florida, and the Northeast, notably New Jersey, are still 80 percent to 70 percent below 2019 levels.

Show an example of the typical buyer on Auction.com 

More than 9 in 10 Auction.com buyers are either owner-occupants or what we call local community developers – local real estate investors who care about their community and positively impact their neighborhoods where they invest. 

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