I recently engaged in a discussion with a real estate agent about the up-tick in the local market. He was very encouraged with recent activity, as it has been so poor for so long, any movement seems like a ton of sales. Statistically, we are doing better in our area, but nothing compared to the not-so-recent boom years.
He was quite surprised I would have insight into the marketplace of his industry, as I mentioned we have seen more activity this year that we have since 2007. He wanted to know how we would know that. Simple really; in an effort to collect debts we will file a lawsuit and place a lien against real property of the debtor. Then we wait for them to sell or refinance that property.
Leading up to April of 2007, we routinely received 50-70 requests from title companies for lien pay-offs. Granted, most of these never came to sell or re-fi, but it was a gauge of the activity in the marketplace for existing home sales and the refinance market. In April 2007, this activity almost stopped. We had 7 requests that month, and until recently hadn’t even had as many as 10 requests in a month!
Two weeks ago, we received 7 in one day! This is a positive indicator there is finally some movement in our local real estate market and also some people able to make a re-fi work for them again. Although not to the levels of 2006, we are pleased to see this movement in housing, as are the Realtors, as it means people are rebuilding equity and buying and selling homes, which means a few more people working, which means a few more people paying their bills!