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Greg Cowart - Mortgage Broker or Lender at The Securus Group
Greg Cowart - Roseville Loan Guy

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Delinquencies down to pre-crash levels for first time in 7 years.

A common theme on this blog over the years, “shadow inventory” and the future of distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), is coming up one more time. While conventional wisdom for years has been every bit of good news on the housing front has been a bunch of hype I have been sharing statistics with you that spells out what has actually been happening.
In reality the future foreclosure rate is determined by one thing, one thing most media source and people never mention, people missing their first mortgage payment today. It is as simple s that. If you read this website you know that I share these statistics every few months or so and the number of people missing their mortgage payments has been going down, down, down; and with it the number of foreclosures 6-12 months later.

The nationwide delinquency rate is lower than any time since Q1 2008, the time we began to see cracks in the market but well before the crash happened. This means the foreclosure rate over the next couple years will be lower and lower too. To boot the actual foreclosure start rate is lower than at any time since Q2 2006!

Shadow inventory,” homes that banks are holding onto or short sales/foreclosures that just haven’t happened yet, the media (and some gloomy Gus’) favorite boogie man is non-existent. The banks have already unloaded their inventory for the most part and home prices have rebounded so much only a small fraction of people still owe more than their home is worth.

I’m sure if you have been in the market to buy or sell a home lately you see that short sales and foreclosures are a very small part of what is out there, when just two years ago they made up the bulk of the market in the greater Sacramento area; including Roseville and Rocklin.

This is all good news!

Greg Cowart

Senior Mortgage Consultant – 19 Years Experience
(916) 412.3313

More mortgage payments being made on time since before recession

This has been a popular subject on this site, I’ve often discussed it in a way that flies in the face of what the conventional media has been pushing for the last few years; the rate of mortgage delinquencies nationwide has decreased to its lowest level in the last six years (since “pre-crash”).

mortgage-paidIn the 4th quarter of 2013 the percentage of homeowners at least 60 days late on their mortgages had dropped to under 4.0%. Marking two straight years of quarterly improvements and the first time this metric has been sub-4% since 2008.

The level is still too high, with most economists preferring it be under 2% in a normal market, but improvement is improvement. And steady improvement is even better!

But real estate is always local, right? Indeed, for the most part that is true, and in California our rate is 3.06% for Q4 2013! Beating the national average by quite a bit and putting us nearly in the normal range and at one of the lowest mortgage delinquency rates of any of the 50 states. The rate in the Roseville/Rocklin/Lincoln area is even lower, well within the historically normal range.

Looking forward? As we’ve discussed many times here, less delinquent accounts = less foreclosures in the future. This is why I was telling everyone that was so scared of the media’s boogeyman of the last half decade, “shadow inventory,” that they have nothing to worry about. It didn’t exist and, while the foreclosure problem looked as scary as could be in 2010-2012, the fact late payments were on the decline told us that distressed sales in the future were also going to decline.

Couple that with the FACT that mortgages of the last 5 years have been of MUCH higher credit quality (no more people that couldn’t buy homes could anymore, and are therefore less likely to default), we see an ever-improving real estate market that should stand on its own after years of being propped up by Washington.

Put this one in the win column!

SOURCE: TransUnion Data

Greg Cowart
Senior Mortgage Consultant – 18 Year’s Experience
Paramount Equity

(916) 412-3313

Negative equity in the region becoming a thing of the past?

The amount of homes worth less than owed on their mortgage in the Sacramento area has continued to fall.

up-down-real-estate-roseville-rocklinJust two years ago almost 50% were underwater and as recently as January 2012 over 40% were still underwater. Since then things have changed immensely. Looking at the immediate past, 4th quarter 2012 (data for the 1st quarter of 2013 is not yet available) there were only 32% in that same boat.

In the 4th quarter of last year, 32% or about 150,000, of all residential properties in the Sacramento region had a mortgage for more than their homes were worth. This is compared to 36%, or about 175,000  properties, in the previous quarter.

This is still a high number but that means about 25,000 homeowners in region now have equity when they didn’t have it just three months earlier.

The 1st quarter 2013 data is not available yet but there is no doubt in my mind there will be another dramatic change as property values are appreciating even more today than they were in the 2nd half of last year. My guess is when it is reported the number will be well under 30%. Not quite where we want it to be yet, but definitely headed in the right direction.


Greg Cowart
Senior Mortgage Planner -17 Years Experience
Partners Mortgage
(916) 412-3313

What does the tear the stock market has been on mean to us?

Rates have been going up, but why is that and what will happen next?

Many of you have noticed the stock market has been on a tear. As investments are drawn from the Bond market to chase gains in the hot stock environment, pressure is being put on bonds. The Fed has been buying bonds, which has kept rates from going up more than they otherwise would have, which has helped but rates are still on the way up.

However I don’t see this stock trend continuing for too long, there is a technical correction to the stock market that is more than overdue. The level of bullish sentiment now stands at 57% – a dangerously high number for stocks.  When a large majority of traders are bullish they are already in the market.  This scenario leaves few investors to come into the market with new buying to push prices even higher.

With the DJI at over 14,000 stocks are within striking distance of their all-time highs, it’s important to see why these levels can be dangerous.


See how the past two times stocks have approached these levels, it has been followed by sharp moves lower.  Also notice that these occurred after long, extended moves higher.  Stocks are now in the third extended run up to these levels.  Going even further: the current 500+ day period without a 10% correction is one of the longest in the Stock market’s history.

While history may not repeat itself it usually does and I feel the chance of a long overdue correction is about to happen any day (it may have already by the time you are reading this), all of these factors tell us that a major drop in the stock market is near..

And (of course) I’m not the only one to recognize this.  This means that some investors will be heading to the exits before the grand finale.  Once the selling starts it will accelerate, quickly!

If (when) this happens where will all that capital go from the sale of these stocks?  Yep, it almost certainly will flow back to the bond market, improving interest rates. Now there is no guaranty this will happen, and rates may get worse before they get better, but the writing is on the wall. This would essentially be the first time all of these factors presented themselves and a different result came to be from them if the stock market doesn’t have a major correction soon.

Greg Cowart

Mortgage Planner – 16 Years Experience


Is this too late? Good news never is!!!

I know I know, it has been a long time since I have posted. And I meant to post this a few weeks ago, a HAPPY NEW YEAR and WELCOME 2013 post if you will. So consider it a belated one of those… 🙂

2012 was a very interesting, and depending on who you ask, a good year for jobs, the economy, and real estate (I of course will be focusing on the latter).

Completed Foreclosures were down a whopping 23% year over year (Nov 2012 compared to Nov 2011). The number is still too high but has been shrinking month after month, and year after year, for long enough to call it a trend.


There were approximately 1.2 million homes in some stage of foreclosure (the foreclosure inventory) in November, about 3.0 percent of all homes with a mortgage.  In November 2011 there were 1.5 million homes or3.5 percent of all mortgaged homes in the inventory.  This is a decrease of 18 percent year-over-year.


CoreLogic’s Mark Fleming said, “The pace of completed foreclosures has significantly improved over a year ago as short sales gain popularity as a disposition method. Additionally, the inventory of foreclosed properties continues to decline while the housing market demonstrates an ongoing ability to absorb the distressed sales that result from completed foreclosures.”

All data points show a continuing trend of ever improving housing markets, jobs increasing, and improvements to the economy. As mentioned these are not good enough, but I have a good feeling about the future!

Images and data courtesy of CoreLogic.

UPO’s business center forecasting good things for California

Not what you expect to hear out there in the “Eyore media” but, according to the Business Forecasting Center at The University Of the Pacific, the state of California remains on a steady but slow economic recovery.

Based on the study, for this year and next the state’s GDP is projected to grow at an average pace of 2.5%. With job growth projected at 1.8%.

The state’s unemployment rate, currently sitting at 10.7%, is projected to slowly shrink but stay about that magic number of 10.0% though 2013. Going into 2014 and beyond they forecast the unemployment rate to continue to shrink into single digits as the rate of economic recovery increases with construction/housing again making a positive effect on the economy for the first time in over half a decade.

Here is a link to the report: LINK

Another sign: Commercial office vacancy is down for the first time in a long time

The Sacramento area’s commercial/office vacancy rate has improved from a record high at the beginning of the year. The 2nd quarter rate is still quite high, still about 23%, and the improvement was not a major one, only about 1%, but it is improvement.

Current data shows there is still about 15 and a half million square feet of office space available in the greater Sacramento area. However, the many experts believe the new data shows the commercial real estate market may have turned a corner and has a chance to post a plus in the net absorption of space rate for the first time in five years.

Much of the growth is in the Roseville area, where business is moving to take advantage of bargains in higher vacancy areas that were not only hit by the recession, but were a crop of high end office space went up right as the recession was taking hold of the local economy. Large tenants looking for a great price on high end offices are taking advantage of the low prices and inventory is starting to shrink.

It is going to be a slow and not-too-obvious recovery, but here is more data that shows our local real estate market, as well as overall economy, taking yet another step in the right direction every day…

Greg Cowart
(916) 412-3313

Innerwork Mortgage
Roseville, CA

Foreclosure activity CONTINUES to fall…

Foreclosure and mortgage default activity continues to fall…

If you have been reading my posts for the last few years I’ve been trying to put the media’s doom and gloom into proper prospective. YES, there have been a lot of foreclosures out there.

But homes in foreclosure today don’t tell us a thing about foreclosures of the future. Homeowners missing their first monthly payments do (can’t go into foreclosure if you are making your payments). Regardless of what you read in the paper or see them screaming at you about on cable news, anyone looking at the right data (patting myself on the back and saying “I told you so”) could tell you that – even though there was a sea of foreclosures a few years ago – with less and less people missing mortgage payments foreclosures of the future would be down.

I love being right! (especially about things that mean good news for all of us)

Dwight Schrute has it all figured out…

Every metro area in California saw a year over year drop in both foreclosures and first payment defualts from June 2011 – June 2012. To top that off, only two metro areas in the state, the epicenter of the mortgage crisis, were above the national average in these stats. These are wholesale changes in the data as compared to the last few years.

Even the Central Valley is showing signs of recovery. If California was the epicenter of the crisis, the central valley was the epicenter of the epicenter! The two areas mentioned above were Stockton and Merced, hit even harder than we were here in Sacramento and the rest of the state, but even their numbers are steadily improving. Topping the foreclosure news in Stockton the more important delinquency rate has improved by a full 3% year over year. Down from 12% to 9%. Still a high number but, as everything else is, slowly headed in the right direction.

More locally the data in the Sac Metro market (which includes Roseville and Rocklin) shows similarly encouraging results. The foreclosure rate is down to 2.5% from over 3% a year earlier. Surprisingly still, the foreclosure rate for the Sac Metro market is BELOW THE NATIONAL AVERAGE for the first time since before the crisis. Piling on the (relatively) good news the delinquency rate in our market was down over 2.0%, to 7% from slightly above 9% a year ago.

Our economy, looking at jobs and real estate has steadily, although slowly, been improving pretty much every month for a couple of years now. This is natural improvement, slow and steady in in the right direction, and I like what the future looks like.

Sincerely your Roseville Loan Guy,

Greg Cowart
Innerwork Mortgage

(916) 412-3313

Most Recent Home Sales Market Data in Roseville, Ca…

Roseville Real Estate Market Trends

Roseville Median Sales Price 

Number Of Sales 

Roseville Real Estate Market Summary

The median sales price for homes in Roseville CA for Feb 12th to Apr 12th was $264,500. This represents an increase of 7.4%, or $18,250, compared to the prior quarter and an increase of 7.4% compared to the prior year. The average listing price for Roseville homes listed for sale on was $311,116 for the week ending May 23rd, which represents an increase of 2%, or $6,159, compared to the prior week and an increase of 1.3%, or $3,888, compared to the week ending May 2nd. Average price per square foot for Roseville CA was $148, an increase of 10.4% compared to the same period last year. Popular neighborhoods in Roseville include Blue Oaks, Woodcreek Oaks, East Roseville Parkway, Sun City, Highland Reserve, and Cresthaven.

Looking good here in the Roseville and Rocklin markets. Everyone that keeps saying “I’m waiting for the bottom” this, and the majority of the data we’ve seen (I’ve shared it all) over the last year and a half, has been evidence that you missed the boat quite some time ago. And that boat is driving futher away from your dock!!! 🙂

~Greg Cowart

15 Years Experience – Innerwork Mortgage

 Data from

Weekly Update: (more) GOOD NEWS!

 Good news. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Values Index, for the second month in a row, gave us a positive reading. Admittedly, it’s a small positive reading (up 0.2% in the February and up 0.1% in the March 20-major city readings) but even small is significant here. This is one of the most closely-followed indices there is.

Year-over-year, there was a 2.6% rate of decline – still headed south, but by the smallest amount since December 2010. Looking closer at the details, noted, “Phoenix is really on the rebound with Miami, Tampa, Minneapolis and Dallas all showing a run of stand-out strength. But Atlanta shows continued contraction as does Chicago and New York.” (The Phoenix real estate market is getting a lot of positive press of late.) concludes: “Unadjusted data show no monthly change in March and, like the adjusted data, minus 2.6% contraction for the year-on-year rate. Home prices may finally be moving up from the bottom, and more recent data on existing home sales show a sharp upward spike in prices underway, the result of fewer distressed properties on the market.”

And there we have what may prove to be the biggest news of the moment (unless you happen to invest in Greece’s sovereign debt); we’re seeing fewer distress property transactions than we expected to. They’re just not having the impact of the market that we anticipated. As a result, the real estate market is improving at a faster pace than was expected.

Now, this doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe to jump into the deep and rocky waters. There are still sharks out there. But it does mean that the waters are surprisingly smooth, and it’s looking more and more like a recognizable (dare I say “normal”?) real estate market.

By the way, last Friday reported great sales and rental figures for the month of April. Zillow computed a 0.7% rise for home values.

“This is the largest monthly increase in home values since January 2006, and it makes April the second month in a row in which home values climbed up,” noted Tory Barringer at And rental rates climbed by a rather dizzying 1.6%. As with the S&P Case Shiller Index, the growth in home prices was very strong in Phoenix (1.9%); it was also notable in Fort Lauderdale. But prices in certain markets, such as Atlanta, GA, remain motionless or worse… Reminding us that, as always, Real Estate is always LOCAL.

Zillow also said that 6.4 of every 10,000 homes in the U.S. are in the process of being foreclosed on. But that is down from 8 out of every 10,000 homes a couple months ago in March.

As we’ve discussed before, there is real reason to watch the effects that distress properties continue to have in this market. But there is also ample room for us to celebrate a brighter real estate recovery at this point than we were expected to see. Doomsday economists not yet ready to admit their err in projections may not be paying quite enough attention to the fact that this will be a self-fueling recovery in which every advance in the number and quality of sales is likely to inspire more buyers into the marketplace, as people make sure they don’t miss out on the disappearing bargains and super-attractive financing.

~ Greg Cowart