West End, short on foreclosures
this maybe the reason:
Home foreclosures are slowing as lenders wait for Congress to approve the stimulus package.
Foreclosures.com reported that foreclosures completed in January dropped 26 percent from December to 72,694, the fewest since April.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision told the savings and loans it regulates to suspend foreclosures on owner-occupied homes while the details of a plan to help borrowers reduce payments is worked out. The new plan is expected to hold monthly housing-related payments to 31 percent of income, as opposed to 38 percent, which was the previous standard. Workouts including lower payments will also be available to borrowers who are in danger of falling behind, but haven’t so far.
Meanwhile, Moody’s Economy.com predicts that 1.5 million homes will be lost to foreclosure in 2009, up from 1.4 million in 2008 and 750,000 in 2007.
“What the foreclosure-mitigation efforts will do is to keep the number of foreclosures from increasing substantially this year and next year,” said Celia Chen, senior director of housing economics at the firm.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty and Ruth Simon