National home foreclosures finished 2013 at 1.04 percent — the lowest rate since 2007 — and close to the historic norm of 1 percent, according to RealtyTrac. That dip represents a 26 percent decline from the rate in 2012. It also comes out to one in every 96 homes that was foreclosed upon, defaulted upon, repossessed or sold at auction. However, the same report showed that at least 9.3 million homes (or 19 percent of total U.S. homes) are still “deeply underwater” — meaning that owners owe at least 25 percent more on their mortgages than the home is worth. What’s that mean for investors? Well, if you’re into flipping homes (buying low and selling higher), there’s less inventory. But when this decrease in foreclosures is added to the more positive new home sales figures for 2013, it means that companies in the home building or lumber businesses might show banner returns for 2014.
Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker, financial journalist, and money manager. As well as a book author and regular contributor to numerous investment websites, Jim is the editor of:
Bob Carlson provides independent, objective research covering all the financial issues of retirement and retirement planning. In addition, Bob serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fairfax County (VA) Employees’ Retirement System, which has over $2.8 billion in assets.
Hilary Kramer is an investment analyst and portfolio manager with 30 years of experience on Wall Street. Since 2010, Hilary's financial publications have provided stock analysis and investment advice to her subscribers:
Jon Johnson's philosophy in investing and trading is to take what the market gives you regardless if that is to the upside or downside. For the past 21 years, Jon has helped thousands of clients gain success in the financial markets through his newsletters and education services: