Home prices have double dipped nationwide, now lower than their March 2009 trough, according to a new report from Clear Capital.

It was inevitable, and it was predicted that a surge in sales of foreclosed properties and a big push by banks to facilitate short sales would force home prices down dramatically.

Sales of bank-owned (REO) properties hit 34.5 percent of the market, according to the survey, resulting in a national price drop of 4.9 percent quarterly and 5 percent year-over-year. National home prices have fallen 11.5 percent in the past nine months, a rate not seen since 2008. Add short sales, where the bank allows the borrower to sell for less than the value of the mortgage, and prices have nowhere to go but down.

While the foreclosure crisis is abating on the front end, with fewer loans going newly delinquent, the pipeline of seriously delinquent loans is enormous. Banks are now ramping up the foreclosure process after the “robo-signing” paperwork scandal, but at their current pace it would take about four years to process all the bad loans through foreclosure and even longer to sell those homes out on the open market.

Continue reading →